Amsterdam in July…

Last July a few friends of mine decided to book a last minute trip to Amsterdam. I’d only been to Amsterdam once before for a few hours on a ferry trip, and to be honest I wanted to travel as much as possible last year…so I just thought why not!

There was 6 of us altogether, and it was the first time I’d been on holiday with a group of friends rather than just one friend. Normally I’m a bit hesitant about travelling in groups, just due to the fact that you have to accommodate to what everyone wants to do. But to be honest this wasn’t an issue for us at all seen as everyone wanted to do relatively similar things anyway, which made things a hell of a lot easier.

So we stayed for three nights in Amsterdam at the Camp Inn Hotel, which was a great hotel which also offered bike rental which was ideal to get around Amsterdam. It was room only, which was perfect as it allowed us to check out what food Amsterdam had to offer, and it really didn’t disappoint. Inside the city centre, Amsterdam basically accommodates all food lovers. Theres pastries, pizza, spaghetti, sandwiches, burgers…you get the idea. Not to mention the coffee there is amazing!

Obviously we didn’t just go for the food aspect of Amsterdam, so we had just three days to fit in as much of Amsterdam’s culture as humanly possible. We went to the museum of prostitution, the sex museum, we went on a tour at the Heineken Experience, Amsterdam’s Ice bar, the red light district, and of course we popped into a bulldog coffee shop. Oh I almost forgot we also took a leisurely bike ride through the streets and along the canal…which meant nearly getting run over by a tram (when in Amsterdam eyy).

Overall the trip was pretty amazing. We didn’t get to go to the Anne Frank house, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. Either way I’ll have to go back at some point, as Amsterdam has so much to offer. Hopefully there are more group trips are to come too! Oh and the weather was pretty good too!

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Travelling Alone

This time last week I had arrived in Portugal, after travelling alone for the first time. Before setting off I was pretty worried. Worried about having a panic attack, as there were certain things that had triggered them off before while travelling. But after all that I ended up getting to Portugal and back with no panic attacks at all. To say the least I am so proud of myself. To be able to do all of that alone and not have any problems definitely made me feel good.

The one thing that really seemed to make a difference is that when travelling alone, more people began to strike up a conversation with me. It was so nice having people helpful and kind at every turn, even something so small as getting my bag and passing it to me really meant a lot. Then getting onto the plane I even got chatting to another first time solo female traveller, which again was really nice to know that I wasn’t alone in the situation. Even when I arrived into Portugal I noticed there was a difference, not just from staff like the driver to the hotel giving me advice on the best places to go, but even the locals just making chitchat.

As a planner I did a lot of research before setting off, like I would wherever I went even if I was with others. But I think this did help as it made me more prepared, especially in case anything went wrong. Maybe that just me being over-cautious, but I’d rather be extra prepared. Heck I’m that prepared sometimes that on the last night I even quickly totalled up all the cost for staying there a couple of extra days…I know how to find a deal!

Overall though I honestly had an amazing time travelling by myself and would recommend for anyone to at least try it once…I’m even considering booking another trip again soon. On the down side there’s no saying that next time I won’t have a panic attack, but at least for now I’m just proud I did it.

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Packing…

Okay so basically I’m off to Poland in 2 days, and this is the most unprepared for a trip I’ve ever been and to be honest….it upsets me. So to avoid any more procrastination I’m basically going to write a list on a blog…in the added hope that it means I won’t forget anything for the trip.

But before that here’s a few details! I’m going to Krakow with my oldest friend for five days, our aim is mainly to soak up the history of Poland with Auschwitz being at the top of our list. We’ve rented an apartment from a man off Airbnb which will be a new experience for me, so I hope it goes smoothly. It’s located just outside the city centre which means we will be doing quite a bit of walking (which I like anyway). And I’ve been keeping an eye on the weather which seems to be varying between 2 and -2 degrees celsius so some warm clothes will be essential as I’m cold majority of the time anyway. Ok so let’s start.

Toiletries:
Toothbrush (Obviously, can’t get anywhere without that)
Toothpaste
Deodorant
Perfume (Not a necessity but I like to smell like a flower)
Shampoo (Aussie, only the best)
Condition (Aussie again, I’m slightly obsessed)
Shower Gel (Shop and Glory…duh!)

Clothes:
2 Hats (you may be thinking two hats for five days, tad excessive, but I already took out one hat!)
6 Pair’s of socks (you never know when you’ll need a spare pair!)
‘Lady garments'(undies)
5 Jumpers (Can’t be wearing the same one twice when I bought some nice one’s just for this trip!)
3 Pairs of Jeans
2 Pairs of thermal leg wear and tops (Hey I already said I get cold…)
1 Pair of gloves
1 Scarf

Shoes:
1 pair of walking boots (Again we will be doing a lot of walking, duh!)
1 pair of trainers (In the hope that one day it won’t be snowing)

Extras:
Make up bag (To attempt to look pretty)
Jewellery (Everyone needs accessories)
Tissues (I don’t know what will happen at Auschwitz emotion wise)
Camera
Krakow Guidebook (Ok so I’m prepared to some extent)
Important Documents

Ok so that could be without doubt one of the most boring blogs…or if your off to Poland during winter, you know, that could actually have been quite helpful. Anyway at least I’m packed now! Let the Poland adventures begin!

Preparation…

Today is the day.

In the past couple of months I’ve thought a lot about travelling…but in reality it feels like it will never happen. I want to change this so I’ve decided that today is the day I shall start planning where I want to travel, what I’m most interested in seeing and how much money I need to save up. The trip won’t actually be until next summer, but still it’s better to be prepared then leave everything to the last minute…at least with some aspects. The trip will begin in the UK travelling down from my home town and then beginning to travel through and around Europe. So far that’s all I know. I’m sure everything will come together a few months down the line, but until then let’s get planning!

“When all this started, I asked myself, ‘Am I going to withdraw from the world, like most people do, or am I going to live?’ I decided I am going to live-or at least try to live-the way I want, with dignity, with courage, with humor, with composure.” – Mitch Albom.