Weekend Reads number 4: Exploring what’s on my doorstep

Why is it that travelling a long way away constantly seems so much more exotic than travelling near to home? What exactly is it that makes united states desire to spend hours into the automobile, hours queueing at airports, hours crammed onto small planes and hours waiting to have through immigration when we could travel to much the same places, only much nearer to home?

I will be desperate to journey to New Zealand. Beyond hopeless. I’ve wished to go here for decades and it’s just never ever occurred. I have countless books about brand new Zealand and I curently have my brand new Zealand itinerary all figured out. But I was chatting up to a Kiwi friend of my own 2-3 weeks ago and she believes New Zealand is boring and she’s hopeless doing an epic road journey across the UK and go to all of the little villages and quaint towns.

The grass is definitely greener, right?

Final week-end I was working on a project with Premier Inn to encourage more individuals to travel closer to house. And so I possessed a lovely weekender in Chester and North Wales and had the best time. It had been relaxing but exciting, tranquil and calm and actually felt like a holiday despite being therefore near home. Among the good reasons for checking out what’s on your own home is the fact that you don’t need to do too much research. There clearly wasn’t the worry of missing out on things or reading countless reviews to discover the best things to do due to the fact, odds are, you’re already aware of all the things you can do. It’s a vacation without hassle and I also liked it.

I loved it plenty I’m looking to prepare more weekend trips close to Wales this season. I usually thought no body would be interested in reading about my jaunts around Wales but I couldn’t become more wrong!

Disclaimer: we also love visiting exotic locations a considerable ways away! I simply type of love any travel, really.

Discover my post from the trip here – A week-end guide to Chester and North Wales.

Here’s exactly what I’ve been reading and viewing recently…

Am we done with travel blog posting? Emily Luxton

A thoughtful post from Emily right here that presents the shallow part to travel running a blog that numerous of us don’t like. Emily additionally talks about just how hard it can be to be from your friends and family and exactly how useless it can feel become referring to fluffy travel experiences whenever a great deal more severe things are taking place on the planet. Well said, Emily!

The ultimate road trip across Britain Hand Luggage Only

1 day I will purchase a campervan and repeat this road trip across Britain and it’ll be awesome! Listed below are 27 epic places and I desire to head to them all.

Let’s talk consumerism What Olivia Did

Consumerism makes me personally feel uncomfortable. Encouraging visitors to buy things they don’t need makes me feel particularly uncomfortable. You guys understand I’m all about saving your cash and basically spending the maximum amount of of it as you are able to on experiences and travelling (perhaps not handbags and footwear) but, like Liv claims inside her post, we also do like shopping and fashion and pretty things. Liv doesn’t pretend to truly have the answers in this post but she does raise some crucial points and I also think it’s time for you to start considering it many acknowledging it more.

Meet the couple whom switched a college bus as a tiny house and road tripped around America Travelettes

Oh my gosh, the fantasy. Here is the fantasy guys!

More ideas on being relatable as a writer Whisky Tango Flat White

In last week’s sunday Reads I shared a post by Lorna, Literally concerning the losing the relatable blogger. Maddie has written one thing in response that and it’s quite as interesting.

What I’m watching

Did the truth is Escape towards crazy on Channel 4 yesterday? Or even, it is a definite anyone to get through to. It’s a fresh show with Jimmy Doherty where he’ll be visiting Uk couples who’ve relocated to amazing remote areas on earth. Final night’s episode had been in regards to a young family whom bought a beach in Indonesia and today are now living in a tropical utopia. A-mazing. And extremely interesting. I always want to myself that I’d want to sell the house and pack our bags and proceed to a beautiful, remote coastline somewhere exotic. But after viewing this we realised that i must say i wouldn’t want to accomplish that at all and I also should be happy using what i’ve!

Visiting Barcelona with a infant: can it be worth every penny?

I’ve simply returned from a great weekend in Barcelona. We went with my partner, Sam, and our child kid, Joseph, who was simply 12 weeks old as soon as we travelled.

Since getting house I’ve possessed a few readers ask me personally exactly what it was like to travel to Barcelona with a child and in case I thought it was worth it.

I’m always wanting to encourage individuals to travel using their young ones. I’m a cheerleader for young families getting out and about just as much as they are able to and I like to show that your particular exciting life doesn’t must stop when you’ve got young ones. You’re perhaps not on a Centre Parcs and package holidays to Spain once you pop down an infant, you’ll nevertheless do really fun and exciting things!

But can you visit Barcelona with the children in tow? I’m not sure…

You will find numerous locations worldwide being so baby friendly, I’m uncertain if it’s well worth the excess work needed to simply take them to Barcelona.

Shock horror, I know.

I recently want to emphasize that individuals travelled to Barcelona in January which meant we’re able ton’t benefit from the beach and/or parks just as you would into the summer. This will have definitely effected our experience and I imagine the city is more child-friendly in warmer months. But in the winter months, i’m like we missed from some experiences that people would have enjoyed if Joseph ended up beingn’t with us.

Listed here are my thoughts about going to Barcelona by having a baby..

Barcelona is all about the foodstuff and wine

You will find lots of activities to do with small children in Barcelona but among the best techniques to spend time in the city is hopping between tapas pubs. Yes, Barcelona is all about the foodstuff and wine and checking out these old-fashioned little pubs using their delicious little meals. it is perhaps not which you can’t simply take infants into a tapas bar…it’s just…well it is just far more enjoyable without them.

In a few methods, tapas pubs are superb for babies as you can pop in, have a small cup of wine and something small tapas meal and become within an out in ten minutes before shifting to another place (and before your baby wakes up and starts crying!) This works effectively in the event your baby isn’t settled as you’re able to leave before they’ve a meltdown or become cranky for remaining nevertheless for too long.

But, having said that, most of these tapas bars are tiny so that they have cosy, intimidate and intimate feel. The staff had been all lovely and friendly but we don’t feel it’s a baby-friendly environment. Additionally, you’re gonna find it difficult to enter there having a pushchair.

There are several outdoorsy places to see

Now this in which Barcelona becomes great for travelling with a baby. Personally realize that children are happy and relaxed whenever you are walking and going and constantly on the go – so walking to various sights, monuments and tourist attractions will probably have them settled. They’re nearly gonna appreciate Guadi’s best work but they’ll definitely benefit from the walk as you stroll from Casa Mila to La Sagrada Familia to Park Guell.

My tips for visiting Barcelona having infant

Have a sling/baby provider

Our infant carrier had been a total lifesaver in Barcelona. It made getting around not that hard and also you never need to bother about the bumps, cobbles, actions, busy roads, general public transport or small stores and pubs. Joseph additionally falls asleep the second he’s place in a child carrier but even though he’s awake he’s pleased to sit inside forever.

We have the Pao Papoose from We Made Me and I also really recommend it. it is comfortable to put on for hours and Sam and I also are both pleased using it. Sam seems a lot of the baby wraps and slings really are a bit ‘girly’ but apparently this 1 is masculine sufficient ? you’ll read my complete report on the Pao Papoose here.

If you’re having a pushchair to Barcelona and you’re not sure which type to just take, I’d decide on a easy umbrella stroller. I wouldn’t recommend the small, lightweight ‘travel’ strollers because they’re often expensive and often miss the features you will need for city streets. Look for something with chunky wheels, a comfortable trip, a large shopping container, a giant bonnet and a reclining back therefore children can lie flat.

Go for dinner early

It is an effortless one due to the fact Spanish tend to consume very later if you buy dinner at normal dinnertime then that’ll still be considered early.

Eating at around 7pm is perfect for those who have an infant with you. It’s likely to be quieter and atmosphere will be more family members friendly. It feels some improper to really have a child in a restaurant at 10pm whenever everyone else is getting drunk or wanting to like a intimate dinner.

Tiny babies are best

If you’re gonna head to Barcelona along with your kids at all ages then your more youthful the higher. At 12 weeks old, Joseph slept literally on a regular basis. Tiny infants are better to take with you in a sling all day, they’re more straightforward to travel with, you don’t need certainly to be concerned about them making a wreck havoc on their dishes or find restaurants that provide kiddie meals.

Very first time parents are most likely a bit stressed about travelling with young children – I know I happened to be! But 2nd time around I’m embracing it and getting away just as much as we could.

Don’t dismiss the posh resort hotels

We remained during the Cotton House hotel (uber posh!) therefore couldn’t are better. I’d never remained at a fancy resort by having a infant before plus it actually turned into great. The staff had been so lovely and inviting, the area had been enormous and roomy, we had a terrace so we could stay outside while Joseph slept and there weren’t any other spaces alongside united states so we didn’t should be worried about the noise.

Final thoughts

I’m 100percent maybe not saying you ought ton’t simply take your baby with you to definitely Barcelona. But i will be stating that it’s a bit of additional work and you’re going to lose out on some experiences when you have your child with you.

For me personally, you will find a huge selection of baby friendly destinations so I’d rather visit one particular and save Barcelona for an adult-only weekender. The kind of weekender where you drink too much wine, consume an excessive amount of food, stay up later, have breakfast during intercourse and revel in the sights without thinking about nap times and feeding times.

Read more about travelling having infant

Exactly what it’s love traveling having child: the nice, the bad and the unsightly

Why it is so essential to travel with children

Top travel cheats for travelling with a infant

Top family friendly breaks in European countries

Strategies for traveling long-haul having a baby

How to get your baby’s very first passport

Newsflash: Life does not stop if you have a child

A weekend guide to Chester and North Wales: an ideal town break and outdoor escape

If you’re planning for a saturday and sunday that ‘has everything’ however can’t suggest a visit to Chester and North Wales enough.

Invest very first time checking out the Roman town of Chester having its cobbled roads, Tudor-style structures and pretty views. Then spend your second time checking out Snowdonia nationwide Park, house to your highest hill in Wales with stunning scenery and quaint Welsh villages.

For me personally, an amazing weekend away has this mixture of towns and cities and countryside. You can spend one-day shopping and sipping cocktails in fashionable pubs and the following day hiking mountains. Really, just what more could you want?

The drive from Chester to Snowdon takes simply over one hour however these two stunning locations feel a million kilometers apart. You truly feel just like you’re getting two holiday breaks in one however won’t be totally exhausted after it!

On the weekend, we teamed up with Premier Inn with this perfect saturday and sunday. Premier Inn are motivating travellers to keep closer to house as you can find countless incredible places in the united kingdom to check out. A lot of us have set ourselves a brand new Year’s quality to visit way more you will want to tweak that resolution and travel more in the united kingdom? I’m frequently bad of jetting to Europe before checking out what we have actually on our very own doorsteps therefore’s time for you alter that!

If you like the noise of a quick journey that mixes a town break with an outdoorsy vacation, then keep reading…

Here’s my mini guide to a week-end in Chester and North Wales

Where you should stay

I remained within Premier Inn Chester Central North. It’s an ideal location to get into Chester town centre – however it is additionally ideal for quickly getting away from Chester and on the road to North Wales. The cost, you truly can’t beat Premier Inn’s. My room was really spacious, comfortable, modern and neat and the employees were simply so lovely. We asked the girl on desk if she had any tips for places to see in Snowdonia. She gave me a couple of a few ideas that I was grateful for nevertheless when I got up each day she’d developed a mini guide for me with plenty of recommendations. She’d even written down postcodes for me personally to locate places, the elements forecast and handwritten notes with her own experiences!

Take a good look at Premier Inn to get their saver prices that are available when reserving straight through Premier Inn.

Ways to get here

I recommend driving – even though this means hiring an automobile the week-end.

You can easily have the train to Chester from throughout the British but for the Snowdonia an element of the journey it’s so much easier in the event that you drive yourself. If you’ve got a lot time, then you might additionally just take general public transport from Chester. An assortment of trains and buses will require you every where you should be, it is simply planning to just take you two times as long and Sunday solutions are unreliable.

How To Handle It – Day 1

Spend your first time in Chester.

It’s a little city therefore it’s perfect if you’ve just got 1 day. You won’t feel rushed or like you’ve missed seeing something important. Acquire some comfy shoes on and have a slow stroll through this breathtaking town.

Here are a few of my favourite things you can do in Chester:

  • Walk along the river and get an ice cream from one of many vendors
  • Stroll through park and feed the squirrels – they’re amazingly tame therefore just take some nuts with you. Check out the Roman ruins and Roman amphitheatre.
  • Eat at Hickory’s Smokehouse for the many incredible ribs you’ve ever tasted that you experienced (booking suggested)
  • Walk along the Roman walls
  • Visit the cathedral
  • Shop within the precious small shops across the Chester Rows. There are shops on the floor flooring and much more shops above them. These rows are unique to Chester and nowhere else in the world has them like this. You’ll find them along Watergate Street, Northgate Street, Eastgate Street and Bridge Street plus some date back into the 13th Century.
  • Have a picture associated with the Eastgate Clock, an attractive turret clock regarding ancient walls. It’s also reported to be the absolute most photographed clock in England after Big Ben.
  • Have actually afternoon tea during the Grosvenor. it is pricy but so worth every penny!
  • For less expensive option, visit Beaton’s Tearooms and Bookshop next to the cathedral.
  • Check out Red Door for evening cocktails

What to do – Day 2

On your second time, get right up early and feast regarding resort break fast prior to striking the trail towards Snowdonia. You’re planning to wish your satnav for this component while you go towards the little town of Betws-y-Coed.

Take a stroll round the town and look for the numerous shops and galleries. If you’re feeling peckish (already!) however suggest picking right on up some tasty homemade treats on bakery attached to the Spar. There’s another great chippy simply next to the connection and you may take your food and eat it beside the river.

Then check out Swallow Falls waterfall which is really a little further along previous Betws-y-Coed.

After Betws-y-Coed, visit Pen-y-Pass which can be one of the places where you could start a stroll up Snowdon. I would suggest using the Pyg Track because it’s the quickest and easiest path at 5.5km and 800m incline. The stroll up takes about 3 hours but even although you just walk for the hour and turn around you’ll still be treated to stunning views plus lovely small walk.

An easier way to reach the summit of Snowdon is always to just take the Snowdon Mountain Railway (shut in winter) in which you’ll be addressed to any or all the views without all the effort.

Even although you don’t fancy hiking, I nevertheless recommend driving around this area and soaking up the epic scenery.

From Pen-y-Pass carpark, I drove back towards primary road and towards Llyn Gwynant Campsite. This may be a gorgeous campsite I’ve remained at once or twice when you fancy a quick break with stunning views then I recommend a quick stop right here. This is January so there was no one around in the top summertime it really is chocker and you might need certainly to spend the £4.00 day price they promote for day site visitors. There’s a woodfired pizza oven van in the summer that we thoroughly recommend trying!

The following end in your tour of Snowdonia goes to a different pretty little village called Beddgelert. Here is a stunning town surrounded by mountains with a few lovely pubs, restaurants, tea rooms, present stores and a great ice cream store. The Saracens Head is great for traditional pub meals or take to Beddgelert Bistro and Antiques to find the best afternoon tea with Welsh bara brith.

There’s a walk that takes you along the river that is gorgeous for a lovely day. Just 10 minutes into the stroll you can travel to the famous grave of Gelert from the medieval Welsh legend. Now, there are many versions of this tale so I’m gonna let you know usually the one I happened to be told being a youngster.

Gelert ended up being the faithful hound of Prince Llewelyn the truly amazing in which he was the bravest and a lot of loving dog you can wish for. He had been mild but strong and Price Llewelyn trusted him a great deal that when he went hunting he left his newborn son beneath the view of Gelert.

One day, Gelert was taking care of the infant whenever a wolf joined their house and attempted to strike the infant. Gelert fought canine and risked his life to safeguard the infant. After a tough fight, Gelert won the battle as well as the intruder was killed. But, as you can imagine, they produced reasonable old mess and there was bloodstream everywhere! Prince Llewelyn came back from searching and heard barking and snarling and found their child boy on to the floor of their home covered in bloodstream. He presumed the infant had been dead when he seemed to Gelert and saw he had been covered in blood. The prince instantly withdrew their sword and killed their Gelert. Just as canine fell to the ground their child awoke and giggled and smiled in his father’s way. During the same moment, Prince Llewelyn noticed the intruding dog lying dead on a lawn and realised just what Gelert had done.

However it had been too late and Prince Llewelyn had murdered his brave and loyal dog.

okay, this is the point in which 10 year old me would burst into rips and thought of his poor dog lying dead on to the floor.

It appears I’m maybe not the only person who was afflicted with this tragic tale and people travel from all over to see Gelert’s grave therefore the remains of these home.

After your stroll to Gelert’s grave, return to the town for an ice cream to cheer yourself up!

In the event that you’ve got time now, I’d suggest making your last stop of this time in Harlech or possibly Nefyn.

Harlech Beach is totally stunning and you can additionally visit the castle here. Nefyn is another firm favourite while the Ty Coch Inn pub regarding beach was named one of many top coastline pubs on the planet. Yes, the entire world! (You park within golf club and walk over the golf course to reach it.)

Photo taken last summer in Harlech

Another one taken last summer (although you’d never ever know it from those clouds!)

And that is the method that you have a perfect week-end in Chester and North Wales.

We partnered with Premier Inn to create this post but, as always, all thought and viewpoints are entirely my own.

1 day in Tokyo, Japan – sushi, sightseeing & shopping

With just 1 day in Tokyo, an enormous city bursting with places and flavours and jaw-dropping contrasts, simply how much can someone really see?

It was the unenviable task that Sam, my guide, was handed when he came across me at Asakusa View Hotel on a sunny Sunday morning.

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

I’ve been to Tokyo before, briefly and several years ago. I stayed in a hostel in Asakusa, plus in my short period of time I saw the Tajiku seafood market, Shibuya crossing, the temples of Asakusa while the Imperial Palace East Garden.

I became hoping that this time I’d have the ability to experience a few different places, as well as perhaps get a feel for the neighborhood side of Tokyo.


One day in Tokyo, Japan

We started at Kappabashi, a road near to Asakusa that’s known for its kitchenware.

The stores along this street, which has the mascot of a kappa (or water sprite) when catered in order to wholesale consumers. Restauranteurs and chefs would come here to get top-quality knives, kitchenware and tableware.

Today it is still a shopping destination for the advantages, but tourists and locals alike can come in order to find quality kitchen items for actually reasonable prices.

We spent an hour or so browsing shark epidermis wasabi graters, walls of chopsticks, pans and pots (the objective of which I wasn’t too yes about) and also resin food replica kits.

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan

It was a fascinating insight into the cooking traditions of Japan, though it did make me pretty hungry!

Sushi making experience

Fortunately our next stop was lunch, therefore we jumped on subway and travelled throughout the city to Hassan restaurant in Roppongi, in which I’d be using a sushi making course.

I adore sushi, so how better to learn to make it than in Tokyo?

After having a fast introduction toward history of sushi, I happened to be put up at a beautifully set dining table with a couple of delicious looking ingredients, and Executive Chef Hiroyuki Ogini started to walk me through the process within our private dining area.

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

First up was sushi rolls. You understand the ones…rice filled up with cucumber or fish or something pickled, all rolled up in a seaweed strip. I’d made these before, although somehow We still discovered it surely tricky.

The cook was done in about 0.3 seconds, and there I was nevertheless training which way up my nori (seaweed) is going. Anyhow, i acquired there fundamentally, and had been willing to proceed to my favourite: sashimi.

This was just a little easier: a small ball of rice, a slice of fresh fish plus dab of wasabi all pushed together so they really look a bit boat-shaped. The tricky part had been making them all look even, and presenting them regarding the platter (the flower petals assisted make it look fancier!).

Just as if that has beenn’t enough food, the cook additionally brought mini cookers to my dining table and I also watched the sukiyaki (thin strips of meat, mushrooms and veg in a tasty broth) bubbling away in front of me personally.

There was clearly miso soup, plum wine plus bowl with only one, natural, cracked egg inside it. I eyed the egg suspiciously when I sipped my miso soup, and attempted to look brave when I ended up being told it had been to dip the sukiyaki meat in.

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan

Not just one to shy away from trying culturally appropriate meals, I waited until my meat ended up being cooked after which dipped it to the mixed-up natural egg. The trick is not to take into account it excessively, since it in fact did taste pretty fabulous.

Still, the highlight for me personally was the sashimi. The seafood had been therefore fresh it practically dissolved within my lips and also the dash of wasabi provided it a satisfying kick. As well as the best part? We made it myself!

Before I left, the chef offered me by having a certification to show that i’ve first-class sushi abilities, plus beautifully printed scarf that could most likely look better in a framework than in my home.

Stomach complete, it absolutely was time for you to keep exploring Tokyo.

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

Ameya Yokocho

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan

Our next stop, another subway ride away, was Ameya Yokocho, a conventional shopping street that was once famous for candy (the title means candy store alley), and also for the trading of black market goods after World War II.

Nowadays site visitors can haggle for fresh produce, grocery products, clothing and accessories.

The street, which runs between Ueno station and Okachimachi section had been crowded and loud, with sellers yelling their best discounts on locals who had been hunting for deals. I recognised several things, like fish, and bags of small dried crabs that are eaten being a crunchy treat, and colourful good fresh fruit.

Other items required explanation, like piles of fresh seaweed, and big yellow chunks of cod roe.

Before we left, we stopped to enjoy fresh, hot manju, a kind of sponge cake having a sweet bean paste in the middle.

One day in Tokyo, Japan

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan

Ueno Park

From Ameya Yokocho we strolled to Ueno Park, a sprawling general public green area in the centre of Tokyo, house to temples, shrines, cherry trees that burst into clouds of red in spring, museums, a concert hall and also a zoo.

Sunlight was establishing even as we explored alongside families, partners, people walking their dogs and worshippers visiting the park’s temples and shrine.

One day in Tokyo, Japan

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

We stopped at Kiyomizu Kannon Temple, Shinobazu Pond and Shinobazu-no-ike Bentendo Temple, and also discovered a cherry tree that has been beginning to sprout some soft red blossoms.

Since the sun went down and the sky switched from blue up to a pastel orange, we hopped on the subway again to return to Asakusa.

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan


The Asakusa section of Tokyo is full of history and tradition. Although you could imagine Tokyo to be all gleaming, contemporary high-rises and quirky new fashion, this part for the town is the complete opposite.

Asakusa’s main attraction could be the ancient Buddhist temple Senso-ji. To get to the temple, you have to walk through the enormous and eye-catching Kaminarimon (Thunder) Gate, filled with a giant red paper lantern.

As soon as you’ve stepped through this gate you reach Nakamise-dori, a 250 metre stretch of beautifully embellished stores selling food and souvenirs leading one to the next gate, called Hozomon (Treasure home) Gate.

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan

Here lies the primary hall in addition to a beautiful five-story pagoda, and here’s where individuals will make to burn incense, pray, and get their fortune at O-mikuji.

For a donation of 100 yen, you’ll receive your fortune, translated into English, from a of the many small compartments lining the primary way of the hall.

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

One day in Tokyo, Japan

1 day in Tokyo, Japan

Dinner at Kamiya Bar

After admiring the stunning red structures in the evening light, it had been time for dinner.

We discovered a table at Kamiya Bar, a popular watering opening dating back to to 1800, that’s casual and just a little bit raucous. The specialty here is Denky Bran (electric brandy), a powerful mixture of gin, brandy and wine, nonetheless they additionally offer a big selection of meals and drinks.

One day in Tokyo, Japan

1 day in Tokyo

By the end of one day in Tokyo, I felt like I’d seen a week’s worth of amazing sights, noises and flavours. Kappabashi and Ameya Yokocho gave me a style of neighborhood flavours and customs, Ueno Park was a stunning way to begin to see the town at a slower rate, Asakusa is every thing I expected from conventional Japan, complete with kimono-clad ladies wandering around, and making sushi ended up being an experience I’ll never forget.

Definitely, there’s still plenty more to see and do in Tokyo, and to arrive at everything you’d require much more when compared to a day. However if there is a fast stopover, or you’re combining your visit to Tokyo with another destination in Japan, you’ll be surprised just how much you’ll pack into one day in the city!

Are you currently to Tokyo? The other places and experiences could you recommend?

Getting there: we flew with Japan Airlines direct from London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda, which took around 12 hours. It’s an extraordinary airline, with an unanticipated level of leg room, USB chargers and a truly tasty menu.

Where you can remain: Asakusa View resort is situated, with amazing views and comfortable rooms. It’s an ideal base for exploring as much of Tokyo as possible!

One day in Tokyo, Japan

Thanks to Tokyo Metropolitan Government for inviting me to see and experience Tokyo!

Weekend Reads number 3: Back from Barcelona and there’s a new Scandinavian buzzword in town

Happy Sunday everyone else!

It’s a lengthy week-end Reads recently. I missed it the other day as I was in beautiful Barcelona.

It was my first visit to Barcelona and I also booked it being a shock holiday for Sam’s birthday. We somehow been able to keep it a shock right until we got to the security gate at the airport. I became tempted to make sure he understands several times but I’m pleased I resisted – seeing his face as he saw ‘Barcelona’ on their ticket was really worth it.

We had a great time in Barcelona but I’ve got to acknowledge your climate did placed a downer on things. I’m not usually someone to let the climate influence my holiday however it had been wet and rainy all weekend and I do feel Barcelona would have been a more fulfilling town within the sunshine. But we have been in the depths of cold temperatures so I can’t actually complain!

The main highlight of this vacation had been residing at Cotton home Hotel. Oh my goodness, it absolutely was gorgeous. It was one particular hotels that was therefore posh and fancy that it was actually actually casual, however in a laid-back glamorous type of method. We adored it. Full movie review is coming soon!

I also provide some posts coming about flying by having a small baby and going to Barcelona having a infant. We took Joseph with us but left George aware of my parents. Joseph had been an absolute fantasy and I think your younger the child is, the easier and simpler it is to travel with them! Look out for those articles a few weeks.

although I happened to be in Barcelona this week, Elle jetted off to Japan for an incredible press journey. You’ll meet up with a few of the woman tweets here. I happened to be very lucky getting behind the scenes updates via Twitter Messenger during her journey. The majority of the woman messages went along the lines of, “I’ve just surely got to my space and I have no clue what to do. I’m pretty sure there’s no sleep in right here. I don’t understand what I’m permitted to touch or wear. I have directions to place on my robe.”

I was really laughing out loud at the considered Elle being in a bedless hotel room racking your brains on how to put on the woman robe! Actual lols.

However for now, I want to speak about something I’ve been seeing plenty of this week and I think it is going to be BIG!

Introducing Lagom: go over hygge, there’s a fresh Scandinavian buzzword in town

If you’re anything at all like me, your social channels are filled with ‘hygge’ throughout the festive period. Log burners and mulled wine, chunky jumpers, knitted socks, cashmere cardigans, scented candles and completely manicured hands wrapped around steaming mugs of milky coffee. It’s been hot, cosy and oh so Scandi.

If you’ve been hiding under a stone or perhaps you don’t follow a solitary life style writer (because every life style writer into the universe has showcased a guide about hygge on a minumum of one social media channel) I quickly should fill you in. Hygge actually Danish word and means the sensation of cosiness and delight you feel whenever enjoying every day moments. Enjoying one glass of wine while sat next to the fire having puppy on your lap while chatting towards best friend is extremely hygge. (i’ve no concept if I’ve used ‘hygge’ in the right context here. Do you hygge? Are you hygge? Is it hygge? I’ve no concept.)

I first discovered ‘hygge’ during a wintertime day at Copenhagen therefore really do feel it while walking through roads. Looking at the windows of shops, accommodations and houses and you see candles flickering, cosy knits and people placing down their phones and simply enjoying the moment. When I spotted it in other Scandinavian countries and ended up beingn’t certain that it had been hygge or in the event that Scandi’s just love candles and atmospheric illumination. They Are Doing offer nice lights…

We liked it in the beginning. I adored the fact there was clearly a word for this homey and reassuring feeling. Admittedly, I’dn’t realised there clearly was a gaping opening in my language but I was happy it had been finally filled.

Then hygge took over therefore ended up being flipping every where so I’ve reached admit that I’m happy there’s a brand new Scandi trend around.

Apparently, hygge is final year’s buzzword and 2017’s buzzword is Lagom. And lagom is one thing I’m quite definitely aboard with.

Lagom, pronounced ‘lar-gohm’, roughly means ‘just right’ and it is about having an even more balanced lifestyle. Goldilocks had the best concept also it’s about not having a lot of and not having inadequate, but having just the right amount. it is about everything in moderation and prioritising what’s important. It’s about residing sustainably and striking that healthier stability in every aspects of life.

Lamgom also offers an air of frugality about this and it is about keepin constantly your investing habits under control.

In my experience, lagom is mostly about spending less on specific things to be able to splash on things that really allow you to be happy. Which may mean skipping your monthly shopping spree or ditching your expensive fitness center account and spending that money on something more significant. Something which can lead to long-term happiness rather than fast hit of joy after investing in a brand new bag. You Understand, something such as travelling….

I do believe Lagom is the perfect concept for anybody whom, like me, has completely fallen off their brand new Year’s resolution wagon.

We went at it along with firearms blazing with my New Years resolutions. I happened to be likely to cut fully out chocolate, exercise 6 days weekly and get up at 6am each morning to obtain every thing on my to-do list. I was essentially about to be an overachieving saint having gym addiction.

I lasted about 4 hours before I became completely overrun and reached for the biscuit tin.

So to any extent further I’m considering being truly a bit more lagom. Am we making use of that right?

In the place of wanting to do every thing, I’m likely to attempt to perform some right amount. I won’t try and do every thing on my to-do list, I’ll pick out some things you can do daily.

I won’t try to travel every where, I’ll select the place(s) each year that I really want to head to while focusing on that. it is maybe not about using one epic, blowout getaway every year, it is about scattering the entire year with little trips – my types of travel!

Here’s what else I’ve been reading/seeing/loving this week…

The lack of the relatable writer? Lorna, Literally

As somebody who has been reading blogs for a actually number of years, i came across this post actually interesting. Blog sites used to be like publications written for normal people, by normal people. No shiny, glossy, perfect, airbrushed images. Just normal people doing normal things and spending normal levels of cash on really normal lives. Nevertheless now lots of the ‘big bloggers’ lead very aspirational everyday lives. Maybe it is due to the fact we’d instead read about people who have more glamourous lives than our personal?

5 methods for capturing each and every day moments within household’s life photography class

Capturing photos of grownups is really hard – simply because they move plus they look away in addition they pull strange faces. Catching pictures of young ones is about 100 million times harder simply because they do all of these things but quicker. This can be a actually simple photography guide but really useful for photographing anyone, not just kids. We especially like number four about making moments happen as opposed to sitting around looking forward to them.

My Minimalist Challenge Side Street design

I love this challenge Laura has set by herself to call home a ‘less is more’ sort of life style. She intends to beat 50per cent of her belongings and will also be supporting sluggish fashion and ethical brands. She’ll be streamlining and simplifying her life and I can’t wait to observe how she gets on.

Why you should start a web log within the New Year professional Blogger

okay, I’m a little bit belated sharing this but I liked this post couple of reasons. Just about everyone i am aware who checks out blog sites really wants to begin a blog of these own. If beginning a weblog in 2017 had been your New Year’s quality nevertheless nevertheless haven’t got round to it, check this out post for the extra motivation you might need.


10 family members travel blog sites that prove you can work, travel and also have children Travel Break

There are plenty awesome household travel bloggers online and listed here are 10 of the best who’re absolutely rocking it!

DIY digital camera bag bag Travel Fashion woman

When I read this I’d among those, ‘Why didn’t i do believe of this!?’ type of moments. I’ve never been planning to find the perfect camera case because they’re in either case to expensive, much too cumbersome or simply just scream, ‘I’m a case full of costly camera gear!’ But this will be a very easy solution to the age-old issue.

Just begin, what exactly are you awaiting? Younger Adventuress

This will be another one for anybody whom set themselves a New Year’s resolution and just hasn’t got their arse into gear and done it. Yes, you understand who you really are.

The end of Girl Vs Globe as you know it woman vs Globe

Here’s another about sustainability and shunning this materialistic lifestyle a lot of us have actually adopted. it is additionally about ethical travel and acknowledging the impact we’re wearing the planet by jetting to one other part of the world. A fascinating browse then one that’s been on my brain recently too.

The best destinations for inexpensive family members travel in 2017

Cheap household travel. Now there are three words you don’t find together often.

I remember the days when I could have a week-end away for less than £100. I’d guide a final moment trip and stay in a grimy hostel, get all my dishes from the street food vendor and take in nothing but inexpensive alcohol and tap water. Oh, exactly how those times have actually changed!

Us breaks seem to have more costly with every one we guide. Now that George is approaching two he no further gets a totally free seat on flights. So we now have an extra flight to cover as well as an extra hotel room or family suite in addition to that. It won’t be well before we’re limited to school breaks so we all discover how prices spike the moment school’s away!

But, as ever, I’m still determined to produce vacations important in our family. Breaks will be the instances when memories are made, everybody else relaxes and also you spend proper quality time together. You are able to just forget about that long to-do list together with home chores and just enjoy spending some time together – while can’t place a price on that!

The single thing that prevents many families from travelling more may be the expense. Simply, it is too expensive. There are methods surrounding this of course and some awesome little travel hacks to save money. Signing around web sites like Travelzoo is an excellent starting point. They’ve at this time got a Disneyland Paris deal for £199pp that I’ve got my eye in!

It also pays to place some additional though into the location. Right here I’ve built a listing of 10 of my favourite destinations for inexpensive household travel in 2017.

North Wales

How come North Wales family friendly?

okay, I’m biased because I live in North Wales and I also LOVE it here however it is a fantastic destination for the family members getaway. Lonely Planet known as North Wales certainly one of because of the huge variety of activities available. Firstly, you’ve got the Snowdonia mountain range that is merely stunning, however you’ve additionally got Zip World with Europe’s longest zipline, Bounce Below (an unbelievable trampoline park in the depths of an old slate mine), and Surf Snowdonia, with its artificial wave lagoon. If those tasks don’t keep consitently the children entertained, We don’t know what will!

Why is North Wales affordable?

it is in britain and that means you’ve got no flights to pay for. Simply pack up the vehicle and have now a road trip. There are also lots of affordable accommodation choices like camping and glamping, that are exciting and unforgettable and cheap!


Exactly why is Menorca household friendly?

Menorca is the chilled-out island for the Balearics having more easy-going approach to life than neighbouring Mallorca and Ibiza. You will find breathtaking, peaceful beaches with gentle waves which can be perfect for small swimmers.

Why is Menorca affordable?

Flights to Menorca are brief and inexpensive with plenty of budget airlines traveling into Mahón. You could book flights and villas separately or get a package holiday for an even cheaper option. Many package vacations have free places for kids and all-inclusive resorts frequently exercise as great value.

Normandy and Brittany, France

Exactly why are Normandy and Brittany family friendly?

I visited Normandy and Brittany for a glamping holiday last summer and found that it is an incredible spot for travelling with young ones. The trip over there is quick and easy. It’s even easier if you drive your own personal automobile and simply take the ferry or EuroTunnel. This is certainlyn’t constantly the lowest priced option however it means it is possible to pack the vehicle with your stuff and stop whenever you must. There are several small towns and beaches to go to that’ll keep consitently the whole family members entertained. And let’s keep in mind, the foodstuff is delicious!

Why is Normandy and Brittany affordable?

I would suggest residing at campsites, either in a tent or the chalets or glamping options they’ve available. This keeps expenses down and means you can prepare all your very own drink and food your own personal wine.


What makes Croatia family friendly?

If you’re searching for a old-fashioned sunlight, sand and ocean holiday with stunning scenery and beautiful beaches then you can’t fail with Croatia. The weather is fantastic and the ones shallow, turquoise waters will likely be irresistible for the water children. Larger young ones will enjoy trying to find the film locations from Game of Thrones and tours are available to help immerse you in the set. If you’re looking adventure then a Croatian islands of Lopud, Kolocep and Sipan are all a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik.

What makes Croatia affordable?

You may get super cheap routes to Dubrovnik and then all things are pretty affordable once you reach Croatia.

Northern Ireland

Why is Northern Ireland household friendly?

In my opinion, it’s the locals who make Northern Ireland therefore family friendly. They’re just so lovely! We visited last year with George in which he was designed to feel therefore welcome. The coastline is incredible and, once again, you can look out for Game of Thrones film areas. Regardless if you’re not just a GoT fan, these areas are magical for kids of any age. Explore the beaches therefore the countryside and see epic places such as the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

What makes Northern Ireland affordable?

Routes up to Northern Ireland are really inexpensive. Flying there with small young ones normally not that hard because you’re landing almost once you remove. I’d recommend hiring a motor vehicle once you arrive for the greatest option to explore and you will get small cars for great rates.


Why is Rome family friendly?

You might not have considered a large town like Rome for a family getaway nonetheless it may be actually family members friendly. The Italians love young ones so they’re welcomed at hotels as well as in restaurants – and exactly what kids don’t love pizza and pasta!? You can find tours and tasks directed at kids including the Gladiator School together with Gelato hiking Tour – a tour with frequent stops for ice cream!

Why is Rome affordable?

Much like any town break, it could be as low priced or because expensive as you make it however the brief and low priced flights to Rome really are a great place to begin! Additionally plenty of free tasks in Rome particularly sightseeing which can be ideal for older young ones with an intention ever.


Agadir, Morocco

What makes Agadir family members friendly?

If it is hot temperatures you’re after then Morocco is the perfect choose. Sunshine is almost assured in Agadir and you can find great beaches where you are able to immerse it. Surfing is just a actually popular activity in Agadir as well as your little ones can discover at one of the many surf schools. Older children and parents also can enjoy the yoga packages very often accompany surf schools. For the a bit more adventure you can just take time trips to the Atlas Mountains or even to Marrakech.

What makes Agadir affordable?

There are a few deals to be enjoyed with family package holidays to Agadir.

Valencia, Spain

Why is Valencia family members friendly?

In the event that you don’t fancy visiting a huge town like Madrid or Barcelona with kids yet still wish the town vibe, the tradition, the restaurants, shopping, history, parks and a striking coastline you then can’t fail with Valencia. Once I had been last in Valencia I became told that could be the town individuals go on to from Madrid and Barcelona once they have actually children, so that it’s unsurprising there are countless tasks for little ones! The city’s enormous park runs for almost the entire duration of the town so is a great place to run off some steam. It is also home towards the futuristic ‘City of Arts and Sciences’ which houses a planetarium, an oceanarium as well as an interactive museum.

Why is Valencia affordable?

Yet again, it’s those cheap routes from UK that give Valencia the affordability factor. The year-round sunshine means you can pack light to save even more by making the baggage in the home.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

What makes Edinburgh Fringe Festival family members friendly?

This can be a lot more of a conference compared to a destination but it couldn’t be skipped. You’lln’t be alone in convinced that Edinburgh Fringe Festival is merely for adults and you’ll be amazed to find out how family friendly it really is. You can find Fringe shows dedicated to young ones of all many years. There are day-to-day craft workshops to get those innovative juices flowing and a cute show for children called Starcatches. And there’s the kid’s dance celebration with genuine DJs spinning disco classics that vow to have little booties going!

What makes Edinburgh Fringe Festival affordable?

Driving to Edinburgh will keep expenses down for the entire family members. Accommodation can be carried out regarding low priced by staying in among the numerous campsites nearby.

Top 10 Family Friendly vacations In Europe

Disneyland Paris

Why is Disneyland Paris household friendly?

We don’t really should answer this 1 do I!? It’s Disneyland Paris, it is the magical land in which childhood dreams become a reality.

What makes Disneyland Paris affordable?

OK, now this is actually the important one because a trip to Disneyland Paris can be quite a expensive one. In 2017, Disneyland Paris is supposed to be celebrating its 25th anniversary so are there going to be plenty of special deals to make it a more affordable holiday. Keep a look out for free child’s places and package offers. You can find particularly discounted prices for kids underneath the age of 7!

There you’ve got it. Some of the best locations for low priced household travel in 2017. Elsewhere you’d always increase the list?

Travel Journal: My French road trip with Les Castels – component 2

Following on from component 1 of my Les Castels travel log from my visit to France…

Day no. 5: Exploring Dinan

To state Dinan is ‘charming’ could be the biggest understatement associated with the century. Dinan is another ‘Harry Potter-esque’ sort of spot and it felt nearly the same as Hogsmeade (we state that like we frequently visit Hogsmeade!) The buildings had been so tall and wonky they seemed unreal, like they’d been made for a movie set and not for actual life. The cobbled streets had been lined with colourful homes that leant against both like old friends while they propped the other person up. It was breathtaking and enchanting and was a pleasure just to walk down the high mountain to your water in which we enjoyed a cool drink in the busyness regarding the enchantment.

We also discovered really a good market in Dinan in which I acquired a precious small desk trinket (below).

Day number 6: Bike rides and arriving at Château de Galinée

It absolutely was our last trip to Domaine diverses Ormes and I also was suddenly filled with sadness at the considered making. We were just getting settled and had fallen in deep love with this place so we didn’t desire to leave!

After another break fast of pastries and fresh bread we jumped on our bikes for another trip of this grounds – trying to take in any gorgeous sight, every amazing treehouse and each giggle from George as he bounced along in trailer mounted on Sam’s bike.

We left our lovely chalet and also then we didn’t wish to keep so we drove our automobile to the car parking and had our last meal at Domaine diverses Ormes.

Thankfully, there clearly was you should not be therefore unfortunate about leaving because our next campsite had been equally stunning.

Our 3rd and final Les Castels campsite was Château de Galinée, a 5* campsite in North Brittany near the seaside resort of Saint-Cast-le-Guildo. Château de Galinée ended up being like our very first campsite at Château de Lez Eaux. It had been smaller and quieter than Domaine des Ormes but nevertheless had two brilliant private pools, a play area, an excellent restaurant and a takeaway café and really pretty gardens. It absolutely was perfect to start and end our holiday utilizing the relaxing campsites and also have the busy and bustling one in the middle.

Our chalet at Château de Galinée had been the best and latest associated with the whole trip. It absolutely was really modern and sleek and, whilst it was a lot more than big sufficient for the three people, it offers loads of fancy area saving features that could are offered in handy for a larger family members remaining for the week or two. Another bonus at this site had been the bouncy castle. There have been in fact two bouncy castles completely erected and George had been happy bouncing away (and tiring himself away!) all night.

Day 7: Saint-Cast-le-Guildo

Our final complete day in France turned out to be probably the most photogenic day of all even as we stumbled upon the absolute most amazing beach at Saint-Cast-le-Guildo. There was indeed some information inside our chalet about visiting the nearby beaches but we had no idea they would be this breathtaking. That powdery soft, white sand was the stuff of dreams while the bright blue water ended up being mesmerising. Used to don’t even understand there have been beaches of this type of France which were therefore gorgeous!

And also the smartest thing had been which they had been actually peaceful and weren’t crowded with tourists. George was free to run across the coastline and splash in water therefore ended up being magical to look at him correctly try this the very first time.

Day 8: Travelling home

We left Château de Galinée with heavy hearts even as we may have happily stayed for another week. I’ve tried to consider one primary highlight from our vacation to France but here really wasn’t just one, the complete experience had been brilliant. The highlight was the massive selection of things we had been in a position to do – of course George had been older there is even more what to add to the list.

Within the campsites there was no shortage of activities but we’d just as much fun relaxing inside our spa once we did checking out the campsite.

I must say I loved road tripping in France and all sorts of the different places we saw. There aren’t numerous destinations where you are able to spend 1 day in a historic city, another on a white sand coastline, another biking through stunning countryside and another at an incredible abbey perched towards the top of an island like something from a fairytale.

The sheer number of things we did made it feel just like five different holidays plus it felt like we had been away for considerably longer than the usual week. We were constantly busy but once we did everything at our personal speed we additionally felt calm – a thing that doesn’t happen often when you yourself have a toddler around!

Residing at Les Castels sites were perfect having toddler as he had been liberated to roam and run while making the maximum amount of noise as he liked. He didn’t are able to maximize the actions offered to teenagers but I already know that I’d love to go back when he’s bigger.

A 2+ year travel itinerary: why I’m glad we went travelling now, not later

We used to do all of it the full time.

I’d scroll through my newsfeed and also have to bite down a rising sense of envy as I saw that a different one of my old school buddies had removed on some type of once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure – and sometimes even simply an unbelievable, sun-soaked two-week getaway.

I’d reason why I’d get next year. I had a lot of happening. I possibly couldn’t manage it.

Since when we think about it, it really is so easy to procrastinate and put travel off to the following month. The following year. We’ve all got our own stuff going on, right?

Of course, there are several real, practical reasoned explanations why travelling may possibly not be simple for you right now. However if you’re simply feeling indecisive about using that leap, today I’m likely to make the case for travel being your concern, making use of myself being a example and sharing my 2+ year travel itinerary to (hopefully) motivate you!

America road journey – 8/12/15 – 03/03/16 (3 months)

We stored like crazy, we planned every information, then on the 8th December we shot to popularity.

Our first location ended up being nyc, for 2 reasons: a.) begin with a bang, right? b.) I knew we wouldn’t be able to manage to celebrate only at in the future! Over 3 months, we took within the following towns and cities:

  • Boston
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington DC
  • Houston, Texas (to visit family over Christmas time)
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Breckenridge, Colorado

  • Salt Lake City
  • Jackson Hole
  • Yellowstone

  • Utah, Nevada and nationwide Parks – Bryce, Zion, Joshua Tree, Death Valley and Grand Canyon

  • Temecula
  • Sacramento
  • Hillcrest
  • LA
  • San Francisco Bay Area

  • Portland
  • Redwoods Nationwide Park

Vancouver – 2 months (March 16 – May 16)

Exhausted after three months of switching up towns every couple of days, we hopped on the Amtrak train and allow it take united states ambling into Vancouver. We spent another couple of weeks surviving in Kitsilano, getting to know the city, skiing in Whistler and making a plan for summer time.

Summer of volunteering – a couple of months (might 16 – August 16)

We chose to invest the summer WWOOFING (willing workers on natural farms) around the province of British Columbia. If you’re not really acquainted with WWOOFING, it is a work trade programme – you benefit 5-6 hours every day in return for free food and accommodation. I went from waitressing at a guest lodge to plucking a chicken and resting in a barn close to crates of garlic.

It appeared like the easiest method to notice a little bit of the “real” Canada while pushing outside our convenience zones and stretch your budget at exactly the same time. Here’s a rough outline of what we did.

  • Sunshine Coast – Ruby Lake Resort. This is usually a gorgeous little lodge, and we had our own small “WWOOFER house” with great friends we made. We dug veggie beds, planted potatoes, washed cabins and I also helped out with waitressing into the restaurant. Every single day after work we went along to the lake and hung away, went paddle-boarding or swung in the rope move!
  • Squamish – Paradise Produce. We lived by having a fascinating couple called Ian and Claudia in the home they built through the ground up. We were entirely immersed in a organic, sustainable life style. We worked in the garden, helped down aided by the goats and polished lumber because of their cutting board company.
  • Williams Lake – The Belle Health Centre. Up in the great outdoors and gorgeous Cariboo, we spent fourteen days foraging in the forests for medicinal natural herbs, making walkways the plants and getting to learn our hosts.
  • Kelowna – Sunridge Farm. Within the blazing sunshine, we picked pounds and pounds of blueberries by time and offered them by the medial side associated with road into the afternoon. We also harvested and hand-washed huge number of garlic minds, which we then camped next to in the barn.
  • Qualicum Beach (Vancouver Island) – Seabreeze Acres. Staying in a cute small barn, we assisted down aided by the running of the fruit and veg farm. Mornings consisted of feeding the pets (pigs, cows, horses, chickens, turkeys…) as well as in the afternoons I picked raspberries, strawberries, peas, and potatoes. The highlight? The 8 puppies I helped look after for the a couple of weeks.
  • Duncan (Vancouver Island) – Wilder Farms. We camped beneath the stars in sprawling backyard of Robin and Caleb (not to mention their 1-year old, Benji). This was a striking farm, especially soon after we attacked it with your severe weeding skills for a week.

Staying in Vancouver – one year (August 16 – August 17)

Dirty, tired but tanned after a summer of working outside, we were a lot more than prepared to return to civilisation for a bit. We intend to are now living in Vancouver for the complete 12 months to essentially experience living in Canada (and of course make use of the beach, the ski hills, the hikes… essentially every thing Vancouver provides). While right here, I’d like to conquer towards Island once more, and maybe even spend weekly inside Yukon to get those north Lights.

We’ve rented an apartment in Kits, and even though Phil works inside cafe, I’ve adopted freelance composing full-time again. it is a sweet life.

Singapore (December 16)

We invested weekly in Singapore in December. We checked out the Gardens by the Bay, possessed a beverage in the Marina Bay Sands, shopped on Orchard Road and ate lots of food from hawker centers. We were super-impressed with all the sustainable and forward-thinking eyesight of Singapore.


We went house for Christmas time, and visited Surrey, London, the Midlands and Edinburgh to pack in as many individuals and festive good times as you are able to. It absolutely was glorious.

Iceland (August 17)

In August, we’ll be making Vancouver and again traveling home toward UK for the wedding. On route straight back out to Canada, we’re likely to do an extended Iceland trip. This will be among my absolute bucket-list nations, therefore I’m already excited.

East Coast (August 17 – March 18)

After Iceland, we’ll fly to your east coast of Canada the remainder of our 2-year Canadian visa. We’ll be consuming Toronto, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.

Asia – three months (TBC)

Soon after we bid farewell to Canada, it’s time for the backpacking journey around Asia. This hasn’t also reached planning phases yet, but some locations we positively wish to hit are Japan, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines.

Australia/NZ (TBC)

After backpacking, we’re planning to round off our trip in Australia and brand new Zealand. Phew!

We’ve enjoyed our travels to date, and here you will find the primary 8 reasons I’m so glad we went as soon as we did, instead of placing it well.

  • We get the maximum benefit from visa implications

Some visas have actually age restrictions, therefore travelling now means we don’t need to worry way too much about timings.

  • I possibly could simply take my work beside me

When I went travelling I’d simply gone freelance, therefore while I happened to be busy, I didn’t need to let plenty of individuals down when I shot to popularity.

  • I’m travelling while i’ve no responsibilities

I’m not saying you can’t travel if you have responsibilities as a result of course, it is possible to, but also for united states, it was the best time: no children, no home loan, no pets.

  • The kick up the bum I needed

The largest fantasy I’ve ever endured in my own life is always to write a book, but I’ve constantly stalled somewhere along the way. Travelling, and all sorts of associated with amazing, inspiring things I’ve seen along the way, was just what we needed seriously to complete that very first draft.

We don’t have a time limit on travelling, so we’ve been able to test lots of different travel styles and never having to select one. Luxurious resort hotels, city-hopping, farm-life…

  • I’m learning a great deal to take ahead beside me

I’m glad I’m travelling during this period in my life because I’m learning a great deal to take forward with me. I would personallyn’t end up being the individual i’m now without travel, and I enjoy exactly what I’m becoming.

  • Right before all my friends get married

I’m 26 – next several years, countless my buddies are going to be marriage and having infants. Travelling now means I’ll be back in time for many of this!

  • We arrive at travel with my best friend

Phil and I also were lucky that individuals were for a passing fancy page with this itchy foot and wanderlust. Packing it all in and going travelling is among the most useful choices we’ve made as a couple.

Are you currently planning on going travelling? are you currently placing it well? What’s holding you straight back? Let us know in the remarks!

GPSmyCity application review: Simplifying city breaks with downloadable, self-guided walking tours

Do you need to find a method to make checking out cities easier and more manageable? Can you like simplicity and convenience of having a trip guide but prefer the excitement and freedom of exploring alone?

Yep, me personally too! In the event that you responded yes then read on to discover more on GPSmyCity, a travel app that makes visiting metropolitan areas very easy.

I frequently find towns and cities become overwhelming places to consult with because there’s just plenty going on. You can find countless places, iconic landmarks, countless eateries and bucket list areas to see. And there’s most of the concealed gems and interesting spots from the typical tourist trail you’ll want to dig out and find.

Now imagine an software that stops urban centers being so overwhelming and guides you around to see most of the unmissable areas. However just the ‘top 10 things to see’ for the reason that city; it will take you to definitely all places only locals find out about, the places you’d usually walk right past therefore the places you don’t see in lots of travel guides.

It’s going to show you round the town and that means you don’t get lost and will and make sure you don’t spend your precious getaway walking around in circles!

Let me introduce you to GPSmyCity (and their latest campaign)

I began utilizing GPSmyCity in 2014 when I done a task with Citadines Apart’hotels. Over 10 times I visited Paris, Lyon and Berlin and travelled solo around all three towns. It was a fantastic 10 days and GPSmyCity became my small lifesaver!

I’dn’t had enough time to plan my time away so when We found its way to each destination I becamen’t yes what to do or where to go so I downloaded an array of travel articles from GPSmyCity. These articles are absolve to down load and read just like worthwhile travel article you’d find on a web log or a site. But the beauty of GPSmyCity is that you’ll pay $1.99 and bring that article your.

By upgrading, the locations showcased in article are plotted for a map together with article really turns into a self-guided hiking trip. Yes, it’s a map having a little dot so you understand where you might be and which direction you’re facing! The maps could also be used offline utilizing GPS so you won’t be consuming into the data allowance or accumulating a massive bill whenever you’re abroad. Which’s another travel writer confession; I’m terrible with directions. I’m constantly getting lost so when We travel alone I invest half my time travelling in circles.

I discovered the application especially beneficial in an inferior town like Lyon where I really had no idea by what there was to see or do. The application took me personally to all or any the utmost effective places and destinations easily. I felt just like a travel blogging cheat as this was such an simple option to find the city!

GPSmyCity may be the biggest travel portal of its kind with over 6,000 town walks and travel articles in over 750 cities worldwide. That’s a lot of travel advice!

I hadn’t used the app since final summer time (I tried it for the second time in Paris when Sam and I also visited to examine the Renaissance Paris Republique resort) so before composing this review I wanted to offer it a whirl again. As I haven’t travelled anywhere since I had Baby Joseph in October I made the decision to utilize GPSmyCity in my house town of Chester.

Now this is actually the ultimate test – being a tour guide up to a neighborhood! Even a digital trip guide includes a tough job when I understand most of the top spots to go to and possess more information on my favourites too. And in a little town like Chester there’s a limited amount of places that may be included in a trip.

I downloaded a walking tour of Chester and I also possessed a great day trip as I pretended to be always a tourist in my own town. The app guided me around the town and showed me personally all the historical features with some interesting facts and details about each sight. The app also astonished me personally by firmly taking me personally to places I’d never heard about prior to. My favourite spots were the places I happened to be vaguely alert to but never visited – because whom visits historical monuments or pretty views in the home? I’m always too busy attempting to do my shopping or fulfilling with friends to really browse around and appreciate Chester.

I’m so glad We tested out of the app in Chester for two reasons. Firstly, it gave me the chance to explore the city in a way I’ve never ever done before. I’ve never ever seen it through eyes of the tourist and I had time for you to soak up the culture and historic atmosphere. It could not be the absolute most exciting town worldwide but it’s extremely pretty and I finally surely got to observe that. The app really was comprehensive and had some good suggestions.

The second explanation is because I got to try the software once more and this reaffirmed just how brilliant its. I’m actually aware about just suggesting items i must say i love with this web log and GPSmyCity is unquestionably some of those! I’m going away again on the weekend (to Barcelona but ssssshhh, it is a surprise for Sam’s birthday) and I’ve already downloaded several walking tours for while we’re there.

It is possible to install the app at no cost and get use of most articles and hiking tours. If you would like make use of the maps offline you then do should spend but it’s not just a lot plus it’s usually worth every penny to avoid the roaming charges and also for the capability of having all the details here in your phone.

GPSmyCity are currently running a audience capital Kickstarter campaign and you will get account to all or any software content in the event that you donate. The minimum contribution is $50 that will be really pretty good in the event that you travel a lot and you’re prone to use it in most urban centers you visit! You’ll download the GPSmyCity app right here for iOs products.

Enhance: I’ve just came back from Barcelona where I utilized GPSmyCity constantly! It absolutely was brilliant for visiting a brand new (and incredibly confusing!) city. Along with those narrow streets and concealed alleys it’s really easy to obtain lost in Barcelona. There’s another great deal to see into the town so the application managed to make it not that hard to find the sights we wished to see without overwhelming us. You’ll select walking tours that focus on particular things such as for example spiritual buildings, a Picasso Tour, a tour round the Gothic area, a Gaudi tour, a shopping tour, a La Rambla Walk and loads, loads more.

As soon as we weren’t following a application we’d stumble upon cool sights or historic buildings. Whenever we wanted to understand what these were, we could check exactly what it had been using the app. The app plots where you stand regarding the map and you will see all tourist attractions around you so you can learn more concerning the sight that caught your interest.

Perfect Sunday Itinerary for Murcia


How to get to Murcia

It’s very easy to fly to Murcia either right to Murcia airport, or Alicante which will be about 30-45 mins drive away. You can find routes throughout the year to both airports including with spending plan air companies such as for example Ryanair and Monarch.

Where to stay in Murcia

Murcia city has loads of hotel options across all price points. If you’re able to employ a automobile for road journey most of the metropolitan areas I visited have good resort hotels. I’ve pointed out the resort hotels I remained at and suggest further down.

Just how long to choose

A week-end is a superb timeframe to invest in Murcia. The Murcian area is fairly little to help you easily circumvent the primary areas within a few days. Needless to say, in the event that you’ve got much longer you’ll be able to take things at a more relaxing pace and spend weekly in Murcia.


Murcia Facts

Currency: Euro

Climate: Sunny! Most of the year it is hot with an conditions of 27 degrees C in July and 1- degrees C in January. The temperature dropped to around 12-14C when I went in November.

Best time for you to see: i enjoy planning to Spain into the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn whenever weather is sunny but milder – great for sightseeing!

Ways to get around: Hire a car to make the the majority of this gorgeous region and explore every thing it offers to provide. Each one of the towns and villages are easy to circumvent by walking.

What to eat: Tapas! The Murcians possess some fabulous tapas. I’ve mentioned my favourites below.

What things to pack: in the event that you get in neck period take a cardigan or light jacket for the evenings. Mostly, keep it casual and comfy.

The Right Schedule For A Weekend In Murcia

Friday – City and Spa

Have the very first trip down to Murcia or Alicante therefore you’ll arrive early to mid morning in Murcia town. Hire a vehicle and go to the old quarter of city.


Circumambulate the little streets of boutiques and tapas pubs. Look at the churches and cathedral. Marvel within sumptuous inside for the casino and enjoy a lengthy leisurely meal at a tapas club.

Within the early evening drive out to Archena to test into the spa resort, Balneario de Archena. Leave your bags in your space and mind directly up to the spa and pool area. Enjoy a long lazy supper and sleep feeling relaxed and rested.

Saturday – Wine and Culture


Awaken and treat yourself to a mud therapeutic massage or treatment in nineteenth century tiled cellar of this resort. After breakfast on resort drive away to your wine area of Bullas. Go to the wine museum and take a wine tasting trip across the Bullas wine route.

If you have got time, take a quick drive on Ricote Valley (or little Palestine as it’s known locally), this has some gorgeous scenery.

Drive to Caravaca, the fifth holy town in Catholicism and home to some beautiful Spanish architecture. Look at the cathedral on top of the hill at sunset for stunning views.

Stay static in one of many boutique hotels in old city such as for example Hospederia Almunia.

Sunday – Sunshine and Seaside

Drive out early to your beach for spot of sunshine and leisure. In the event that you head to Águilas, try a number of the tapas restaurants for lunch.

If you are quick punctually and don’t wish to head south, try the beaches around San Pedro del Pinatar (to understand white flamingos!), La Manga, Los Alcazares, and/or little coves at Cape Palos (in which there is also a gorgeous lighthouse). If you have the possibility, have a look at Miramar restaurant at Cape Palos, it was one of my favourite dishes!




I’d recommend residing in Murcia until Monday in order to relax and enjoy your final time before heading home. Invest your last night in Cartegena in order to visit the Roman amphitheatre and old town in the morning before flying house.

Read more about my day at Murcia right here:

9 reasons why you should visit Murcia, Spain

My 5 time travel journal from Murcia, Spain