Travel Regrets

For most twenty something humans who took a GAP Year and did a month long Contiki tour, you’ll know a think or two about #NOREGRETS. And yet, anyone who’s done a Contiki knows that there’s actually #manyregrets. And take it from me, someone’s who’s travelled and made #manyregrets then listen up, and be prepared for the mistakes to avoid and the regrets that will inevitably occur on your ultimate, scandalous, adventurous and crazy trip abroad.

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Pulling all nighters to save a night on accommodation

For some delusional reason, when you’re travelling and broke af,  you tend to do crazy things to save money. One of them is making the decision to save a nights accommodation by catching an overnight bus or train. In theory, yes it works. But in practice, it leaves you angry, tired, hungry and questioning your own sanity. It took a while for me to learn. The first time I did this was catching an overnight bus from London to Paris. Whilst it was the cheapest option and I’d definitely recommend it, DO NOT DO IT OVERNIGHT. Between customs, border patrol, the ferry, the cold, and the cramped seats on the bus, you will not arrive in Paris fresh, excited and ready for the day, despite what the movies say.

Thinking you can ‘do Paris’ in 2 days

First of all, Paris is not that greasy one night stand that you ‘do’ on a quiet Thursday night bootycall. Paris is an elegant date that needs to be wined and dined. She’s a classy lady and knows that all good things come to those who wait. It deeply pains me to hear that people completely write off a place after only spending a few days there. Instantly jumping to the classic ‘it’s dirty, there’s so many homeless people, I didn’t get proposed to’ bullshit that shatters their unrealistic dreams of a place like Paris. They spend 1 woeful day there and then they’re off to the next. Paris, and the great cities of the world were not created for you to ‘do’ and tick off you list. To really grasp and experience a city, you’ve got to spend a minimum of 5 days. And who knows what changing the pace will lead to, but I promise it will be more genuine and special.

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Pulling an all nighter then catching a train across the country

11 hour train journey’s are hard enough as it is. Do not, I repeat… DO NOT go out all night in San Sebastian, return home at 6am then catch your train at 6:30 to Barcelona on the other side of the country. If you look up the definition of pathetic, you would’ve seen my hungover face on that page. Never before have I felt closer to death. Every hour I had to run to the bathroom to throw up, sip on water, and tried to sleep. I completely missed all of the (apparently) beautiful scenery and I arrived in Barcelona just wanting to die.

Thinking you can save money on accommodation and fit 6 people into a 2 person room

OK smarty pants, you think you’ve fooled the system? You think you’re a genius because you squeezed an extra 4 people into your small double room? You may be saving money, but you sir, are an idiot! It may be fine for 1 night, but eventually you need to ask hotel staff for extra towels, pillows, blankets. You try to rotate sleeping positions and always wake up with someone snoring in your ear and another spooning you with sweat. In case you haven’t already gathered, getting a good night’s sleep is just as about important as that learning tower is to Pisa, so make sure you respect it.

Every Hangover Ever

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, hangovers are the devil having a party in your poisoned stomach. But whilst you’re travelling, your always on the go, with early mornings, late nights, being overwhelmed by history, culture, food and adventure… so when that 12th tequila shot hits, it’s taking you down with it. And trying to recover on a bus… well, just make sure you have a paper bag at the ready.

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Thinking that German guy at the bar could be the one

Now I’m all for being a hopeless romantic, but let’s be honest, that mysterious German guy at the bar buying you drinks has no intention of becoming your boy boy. Sure you’ll flirt, get drunk, have sex, exchange numbers…. and then you’ll never see each other again. Who knows, maybe one sexy German guy at the bar really is the one, (and for your sake, that would be cute as hell). But don’t fool yourself into thinking that most travellers at the bar are looking for anything else but a one night stand.

Not being able to read the ATM language and accidentally withdrawing $2000 instead of $20

When you’re abroad, it’s important to have access your money. How else are you going to buy all that super cheap vodka in Hungary? However, ATM’s overseas aren’t always the same as the ones here in Australia. You know when you go to buy some sushi and they only accept cash so you run to the ATM, hurriedly take out $20 without even looking because you know where the $20 button is and you need to satisfy that sushi craving asap? DO NOT TRY OVERSEAS WHERE YOU DON’T SPEAK THE LANGUAGE. I will never forget the time in Hungary when my friend thought he was getting out $20 Australian, and instead withdrew nearly $2000! And to make it even worse… it was in Hungarian Forint which is super weak and hard to exchange. Make sure you pick an ATM that has an English option, along with a currency exchange app to make sure you don’t make the worst mistake of withdrawing your hard earned savings.

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OK so maybe they’re not regrets. They’re more like mistakes and complete fuck ups that I kinda wish I avoided but at least now I have an awesome story to tell. And that’s what travelling gives you. The good, the bad and the freakin ugly. No matter how many #regrets you have, at least you’ll have some killer stories.

[You can check out this post on a site that knows all about regrets at Twenty Something Humans]

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Post Travel Depression: It’s Real and It SUCKS


They say the hardest thing about travelling is coming back home…

It’s been exactly 1 month since leaving Montreal – how the hell has that happened? If you speak to Time, please tell him he’s working a bit too quickly lately, because damn has time absolutely escaped me. I guess travelling around the States for 2 weeks helped (if you missed it you can check out my videos from America here). Upon being back in Australia I’ve been equally busy. Seeing friends, family, getting back to work, finding a house, and finally sleeping in my own bed (luxury!), I’ve been busy enough to distract me from the void in my stomach. But now that routine is finally starting to kick in, I’m slowly but surely hitting that inevitable wall of post travel depression.

Post Travel Depression, I argue, is a real and genuine thing that overcomes you a few weeks after returning from overseas. And the worst thing is, that you’re never really prepared for it. No matter if you’re a seasoned traveller or a first timer, I promise that it will still hit you as hard every time. You come back from your holiday (or in my case, exchange) and you’re like a minor celebrity. You walk around, see everyone you know, everyone’s asking about your trip, your pictures, if you met any cute boys… and you’re ecstatic.

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Did That Really Happen?

But then a week passes by, you start working again, then another week passes by, and you’re hanging out at your old bar, then a few more days pass by and it’s honestly like you’ve never left. Everything you’ve experienced, just feels like a dream. But how could it be a dream? It was one of the best experiences of your life! And slowly but surely, you slip right back into your old life, and you start sinking.

Change

I think the worst part is when you feel that you’ve changed, grown and had your mind and eyes well and truly blown. You’ve basically created a new version of you whilst on your travels, but the people you know and love back home, can’t see it. Sure they may notice little things, that you’ve put on some weight from all those baguettes, or picked up a weird accent, but at the end of the day, they’ll never truly understand. And that contributes towards the ‘dreamlike’ feeling of your experience, it kind of leaves you questioning if it really happened, and you feel yourself loosing a part of person you created overseas. And that feeling…. it’s incredibly horrible.

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Missing Out

It’s even worse when some sort of major event or occasion happens where you were living or travelling, and you get an overwhelming feeling of missing out. For example, not long after I left Montreal, there was a festival called IglooFest. And if the name itself isn’t enough to sell you, all of my friends went. OK, so that wasn’t the end of the world, missing an awesome festival. But what really hit me in the feels, was when it was my best friends 22nd birthday. You see snapchats, Instagrams, Facebook posts and you just know, deep in your heart, that everyone is having an amazing time, and that you’re really missing out on something special.

And I guess that’s something that we just have to come to accept and deal with. You can’t be everywhere at the same time (unless we make MAJOR advancements in technology asap). And we can’t always do everything we want to do. Reality strikes, your visas up, your exchange is over, your return flight is booked and you’ve got things to do. This doesn’t mean you have to be boring, but it does mean that physical barriers exist and at the end of the day, if you can’t be there in person, I’m sure you’re there in spirit (drinking all the spirits at the party whilst killing it at beer pong).

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Expression and Communication

The best way to deal with these feelings, is to get it out there. Society almost expects people who return from travel, to always be happy and rejuvenated. But by talking about how you’re feeling, and spreading the word of the honestly shit feelings you experience when returning, then you’ll get a lot more support, love and kindness.

And keep in contact with your friends you’ve met overseas. Give them a random FaceTime, send them a card, Snapchat them your day, write them a message and tell them that you’re having a rough time and that you miss them. I assure you that your friends will be missing you too. The most important thing to remember is that the friends you meet whilst on exchange or travelling aren’t just going to disappear. In fact, I think you’ll cross paths sooner than you expect.

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Your Next Adventure

Whilst everyone will experience this post travel depression differently and adjust at different rates and in different ways, I promise you, you’ll get through it. Soon enough you’ll be planning your next trip and starting your next adventure. The most important thing to remember is that travel and adventure is not just an action, it’s a mindset. So keep positive, live with purpose and accept and respect your feelings. You’ve gotta look after yourself, so that you can adjust to life back home, whilst planning your next adventure so you can do it all again.

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Simple & Easy Way To Make A KickAss Travel Video

So you want to make a travel video but you don’t know where to start? Well there’s a million ways to make a travel video. The most common is a quick GoPro edit with a Kygo song plastered on top. But if you don’t have time, money, energy or resources to put together an epic travel video… never fear. I have the ultimate travel app for you!

1SE (1 Second Everyday) is the easiest yet most creative way to document your travels. In short, this is how it works… you take one second of footage everyday and it saves it into a calendar. You can set reminders so you don’t forget to take a quick video. Then at the end of your trip, you mash it all together and export the file.

The best thing is, that it allows you to capture what you think is important or special about a particular day. And even if you don’t do anything specifically important or special in a day, and you end up filming your office desk or your coffee order, they’re all part of what make up your adventures.

PLUS… it requires minimal effort. It’s a slow project but at the end of the year, you’ve got about 5.5minutes of adventures, and I assure you that you’ll thank yourself when you watch your year back.

Below is my 1SE video from 2016. Let me know what you think! I’m making another 1SE for 2017 so watch this space! I’ll also be making a proper travel video (maybe with a bit of Kygo overtop) so once I sift through my 100’s of Gigabytes of footage, I’ll be onto it.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to be sure you don’t miss it! 

My 5 GOLDEN RULES for travelling on the London Underground

London is a big one on a lot of people’s bucket lists. And I must admit, there’s nothing quite like descending over the city and being able to spot buildings from your window seat. You’re not sure if it’s because you’ve been seated for 14+ hours or your excitement, and your legs are shaking away. You may have heard about Heathrow’s long queues to get through customs, but you may not of heard of another very important aspect of landing at Heathrow, and that’s getting the tube to your destination.

Ah the tube. At first it’s comically exciting. And then you realise you need to manoeuvre your suitcase up and down stairs, on and off trains and in between thousands of people.

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Make sure you can carry your stuff

There’s nothing worse than literally not being able to carry your belongings. You’re trying to wheel your suitcase, your’ve got your backpack on your bag, handbag over your shoulder, shopping bag in one hand, reaching for your Oyster card in the other… It’s a nightmare. If it helps, have a little practice at home before you tackle the tube. What’s easiest and most comfortable for you? Figure it out as soon as possible so you can get your sh*t together and get from A to B easily.

Take your time

Sure the tube makes you feel like life is moving at hyper speed… but there’s no need to rush. When there’s so many people rushing around you, it’s easy to feel like you’re being the biggest pain ever and in everyone’s way. But everyone’s been there. They probably feel sorry for you that you have to lift that huge thing. around everywhere. In fact, a lot of people will offer to help carry your bag up stairs. Just take a deep breath and take your time. You’ll get there. Everyone else can just shover around you. After all, you’re the one with the massive suitcase, no one’s going to mess with that!

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Try to avoid peak hours

Peak hours on the tube vary between 6:30am-9:30am and 4:30pm-7:30pm. If at all possible, I would strongly recommend avoiding travelling with lots of luggage during these times. It’s hard enough with a small handbag, let alone everything you belong. However, if you unfortunately find yourself in that position, just make sure to take extra care so you don’t hurt yourself or someone else.

Stand up

It’s going to be much easier for you and other passengers if you put your luggage against the tube doors once they close, or against the panel. This will firstly make sure you’re not taking up too much room, it will secure your luggage, and you can lean against it for comfort and security. Trust me on this one, there’s nothing worse than someone sitting down on one of the seats, with their bag stopping someone else from sitting down. You will receive the death stare from many people.

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Smile and apologise

If you do find yourself in someone’s way (which is most definitely going to happen) just smile and say sorry. They’ll appreciate the notion and be on their way. If you get frustrated, flustered or rude, there’s no way someone’s going to offer to help you and again, the death stares will occur.

FINAL NOTES

At the end of the day, the tube is a very strange type of ecosystem with it’s own rules and laws. You never quite know if it’s safe to look someone in the eye or smile at someone… but hey, you’ll be getting off in a few stops and most likely never see them again.