The solo traveller.

Nervous about travelling solo? Still on the fence and need a little push? Then this is for you, here is five reasons you should take that leap!

It’s life-changing

Travel is full of clichés but some clichés are clichés for a reason right? Solo travel will change your life.

My first solo trip was to Sydney, Australia. I was terrified. I’d planned everything, saved everything, booked the time off work and started telling people I was going. I only had one person left to convince: me!

You can do so much planning for any trip but I think the hardest part of planning your first solo trip is mentally. Can I do this? What if things go wrong? Will I get lonely? So many questions run through your head, so many reasons not to go, so many reasons to play safe.

It took some time, having planned it for months I only booked my flights and accommodation THREE WEEKS before going to Sydney! The thought of solo travel is scary.

Having been and done it I can tell you it is worth it. If you can travel alone then you can do anything and it gave me so much more confidence. I don’t even hesitate in taking a trip somewhere now. If you’re not coming along for the adventure, I’ll adventure on my own!

Sydney


You’ll never go!

I was left with two choices for Sydney. Put it off and hope I’ll find the right company to go with someday in the future or go it alone.
I can’t possibly go alone so I guess.. I’ll probably never go.. damn.

Mentally I struggled and this is the thought that pushed me in to going. I convinced myself I’d never get to Sydney if I waited around.

Work commitments, family commitments, financial struggles, distance, arachnophobia, there were so many justifiable reasons for people to pass up the opportunity to go to Australia. These are always going to be there, arguably moreso as I get older.

If nobody else goes with me I’ll never experience that dream trip down under. Sod that!

 
More flexibility

I fancy steak but you’re a vegetarian. I want to see the Northern Lights but you’re planning on a sunny Winter break. You want to see the sunrise and I’m still hungover from the night before!

I love travelling with family and friends but sometimes you have to find a compromise when travelling with other people.

Solo travel means doing whatever you like, eating wherever you like and sleeping whenever you like. You’re the boss! The added flexibility sometimes gives you opportunities you wouldn’t have when travelling with other people.

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Making friends in Sydney.


Approachability

“Hey, did you want to join us?”.

Sometimes I find that travelling alone actually makes you more approachable to other people. As you don’t have to worry about anyone else you’ve got no reason to turn down the invitation for a drink or to go explore your new destination together.

Never put yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable or feeling vulnerable but travelling alone does give you opportunities to make new friends along the way.

This can work the other way too as you find yourself more outgoing and more likely to speak to a stranger. Whether it’s asking for that perfect photo opportunity, asking for directions or making small talk with the person next to you on a flight.

People are curious of the lone traveller and want to hear your story, why not hear theirs too?


You’ve got a story for those left behind!

It’s your experience, your recommendations, your story. If you’re travelling with someone it’s one less people to share / brag about your adventure with. Guess who has some really great Sydney stories?! This guy!

I’ve had friends who’ve since been to some of the places I’ve travelled to and being able to share the knowledge and my recommendations is a great thing to be able to do.

Hopefully this has helped push you a little closer to solo travel. Having company for your travels is a truly wonderful thing and has made a lot of my trips even better having a friend or loved one with me but solo travel has its perks too. Why deny yourself more adventure?!

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on solo travel.

All the best,

Jason

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Ibiza

I’m going to try up my blogging game so this is the first in a series of what I’m hoping will be a weekly post. A “Friday feature” as I’m going to call it.

I always look back fondly on my trips to Ibiza. I visited twice, a week in the summer of 2011 and a further week in the summer of 2012. The first trip was my first ever “grown-up” holiday, no parents and no supervision! Whilst exciting it was also nerve-wrecking. I spent the night before my first trip throwing up due to anxiety. Fast forward a week and I debated not even coming home!

I won’t lie, both trips had their ups and downs but it was an unforgettable two weeks and made me realise I had to get out and see more of the world. I’d fallen in love with Ibiza instantly so here’s five reasons why it should be on your destination list for the summer!

It’s beautiful! 
I don’t know why this was a surprise to me. It’s an island in the Mediterranean, part of me should have expected an island to be a pretty place to visit but you don’t tend to hear too much about that side of Ibiza.
Whether you’re driving across the island or watching the sunset at Café Mambo, you can’t miss Ibiza’s beauty! My biggest regret is taking too few photos and not seeing more of the island! It’s stunning!

It’s incredibly friendly! 
I guess what makes Ibiza a little unique is that it’s very much catered towards tourists. You’ll be welcomed with open arms, you don’t have the awkward language barrier and everyone just wants to have a good time. Ibiza is so chilled and it’s a perfect place to relax.

The weather is great! 
Visit In Ibiza’s peak season (May – Sep) and you’re going to be guaranteed sunshine and warm weather for most of your break. In typical European (and Spanish) fashion there is a big eating out culture. Many restaurants offer outside seating and allow you to watch the world pass by.
Watching Ibiza’s sunset is also a must! Ibiza’s nightlife continues well in to the early hours of the morning so you’ll possibly see the sunrise too!

The party capital of the world! 
Many consider Ibiza to be the party capital of the world. Most of Ibiza’s summer visitors are there to enjoy the island’s nightlife. Ibiza is home to some of the world’s most famous clubs and biggest artists from the clubbing, dance and DJ world of music. If clubbing isn’t your thing, the island also has numerous bars with a great atmosphere and people enticing you through the door with cheap drinks! You can have a fun night and a cheap night without stepping in to the bigger clubs.

It’s not all about the party! 
Perhaps one of the biggest myths about Ibiza is that it’s solely a party island. Whilst that is certainly an attraction for many visitors it should go without saying that there are quieter parts of the island too which are much more relaxing and even family friendly!
With beaches, water-sports, shopping, markets, many dining options and a historic old town it’s hard not to find something for everyone. If you’ve got car access then it really opens up what you can do in Ibiza but there are buses and alternatives should you need to use them.
Ibiza might not be everyone’s cup of tea but don’t judge it before you’ve been for yourself! I fell in love instantly and hope to return in the future!
Have you been to Ibiza? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Jason

The tale of Canterbury

I think anyone that has been gripped by the desire to see the world has felt this struggle – the gap in time between your last trip and the next. This is where your wanderlust really kicks in and you start to crave more adventure.
I went to New York City last June, came home and my next trip lined up was a weekend in Germany in September. September! What was I supposed to do for three months?

The answer was obvious – take a trip! Funds and time were limited so I decided rather than go abroad, I’d spend a weekend somewhere here in the UK. So off to Canterbury I went.

It’s only an hour away from London so if you’re visiting the UK then why not take a day-trip to Canterbury? Here’s why you should!

It’s a city of heritage!
I didn’t know much about Canterbury before visiting, the famed Canterbury Tales was one of the few things I knew of so I was expecting an old city with plenty of history. Canterbury didn’t disappoint. For starters it’s home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

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The cathedral is one of the most visited attractions in the city, which was founded all the way back in the year 597! It was rebuilt a few hundred years later and the cathedral is perhaps most famously known for the murder of the archbishop Thomas Becket. Acknowledgement of Becket’s influence in Canterbury can be found throughout the city, including a pub named after him! I always feel like that is the greatest possible honour bestowed on any Brit. A pub in your name? You’ve made it big!

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One of the surprises of the city was the small abandoned castle on the outskirts of the city centre. Whilst much smaller than most castles throughout Europe it was free to look around and there was also a distinct lack of tourists which made it a winner for me! Definitely worth a look if you’re a fan of castles and old architecture.

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It’s pretty!
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Canterbury isn’t just all cathedrals, castles and city walls – it’s also a really pretty city. Cobbled streets, a river running through it and pretty public gardens all make it a really aesthetically pleasing city too. Booking a river tour is a great way to see more of the city and offer some different photo opportunities.

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It has plenty of culture!
The city is home to three universities, the population of the city doubles throughout the academic year which means there is always stuff going on. Museums, exhibitions, theatre, events, restaurants, shopping and more!
I was rather lucky my weekend coincided with a medieval festival in the city. It wasn’t planned but very much enjoyed!

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If you plan to stay overnight it also has a great nightlife with some great pubs to visit, these of course are open throughout the day and usually offer traditional British pub meals too but the city comes to life a little more in the evening.
One pub I was particularly fond of was the Foundry who brew their own beers! There’s plenty of others dotted about the city though so you’ll be spoilt for choice if looking for somewhere to spend your evening!

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Inside the Foundry

So there you have it – add Canterbury to your list! For those of you who’ve been before what did you love about Canterbury? It’s a city I’ll definitely return to so I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Thanks for reading!

Jason

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There’s a reason selfies weren’t a thing in medieval times

Home for me, adventure for you!

Recently I’ve really started to immerse myself within the online travel community, mostly on Instagram, and I thought it’d be the ideal time to start blogging. Travelling has become one of my biggest passions and I wanted to use this as a platform to really talk about that, share experiences and hopefully offer some inspiration to others reading this.

I’ve been lucky to visit a number of different places around the world and I’m constantly ticking places off of my bucketlist, although that ever-present wanderlust usually means the list of places to visit is growing rather than shrinking!

There were lots of places I could have started this blog off – London, New York City, Sydney – the list really is endless but I thought what better place to start than right at home? I think one of the things that can quickly be forgotten among travellers is that home to you is an adventure to somebody else.
I was born and grew up in London and believe me I will post about London in the future but for now I live in Peterborough and here’s a post dedicated to it.
Would I recommend it as somewhere to visit? No, but if you’re a little curious here’s five reasons why you might want to visit!

1) The local experience
Travellers are continually looking for a destination off the beaten track and Peterborough ticks the box as a city less travelled. You don’t get swarms of tourists here, perhaps with good reason but it does mean that if you do visit you’re likely to only be dining, drinking and chatting with the locals. This is also a plus if you want to visit Peterborough’s cathedral, museum or churches which beyond peak times are rarely busy.

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River Nene, Peterborough

2) Location
As cynical as I may be about how dull Peterborough is as a city, one thing you can’t question is its convenient location. Peterborough has great transport links. Situated next to the largest motorway in the country means it’s easily accessible by car, whilst Peterborough also has direct trains and/or bus links to most major UK cities such as London (less than an hour), Cambridge (1 hour), York, Edinburgh and more.
Buses and trains from Stansted Airport both also travel via Peterborough.
What better place to base yourself for a night if you’re planning a road-trip or visiting various cities throughout the UK.

3) The cheaper alternative
Staying in the UK can be expensive! You might want to consider staying in Peterborough just because it’ll save you money over staying in nearby Cambridge or London – both of which are only an hour away. Trains from London to Peterborough run late in to the early hours of the morning so you could easily spend your day in London and head back to your accommodation that same day to sleep in Peterborough.
You’ll obviously need to weigh up whether the time and cost of travelling make any savings worthwhile.

Cathedral

4) History & Culture
Like most European cities, Peterborough has its share of history. The city dates back hundreds of years and this is most evident in the location of Peterborough’s cathedral. The cathedral was built in the 12th century and is definitely worth seeing for yourself, some well known people were buried in the cathedral such as Katherine of Aragon or Mary Queen of Scots (later moved). If you time your trip right you might even catch a heritage/historical/medieval festival or event.

In more modern times, Peterborough has become one of the UK’s fastest growing cities. In some areas it’s still lacking but in the last year a number of restaurants and pubs have opened to make for a much more vibrant city centre. You now have much more choice for wining and dining
There’s a handful of venues which also host live music, sporting events, theatre and other arts which may appeal dependent on your interests.

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Ferry Meadows, Peterborough

5) Nature
Peterborough is in a relatively flat part of the country so perhaps isn’t somewhere you’d associate with stunning scenery, whilst this is true there are some areas which show off Peterborough’s beauty. First and foremost the River Nene flows through the city and on a nice day it can be nice to walk along the riverside.
You also have an area known locally as ‘Ferry Meadows’, I don’t think it’s considered a national park due to it’s size but is in the same spirit. It’s a family friendly park with activities for kids, wildlife and a great spot for relaxing – particularly good for picnics overlooking the lake!
As an alternative accommodation option, you can pay to camp here with watersports on offer and a golf course within walking distance for the golfers out there!

If I’ve sold Peterborough to you and you’re curious at to how long to spend here I’d suggest a day/night at most, you could feasibly see most of the city in a few hours.
If you do decide to visit give me a heads up and I’ll happily send some further recommendations your way.

Thanks for reading.

 Jason