6 things all travellers don't like to hear

In recent years more and more people have taken to travelling; as a gap year, employment, to explore, have adventures or sometimes even taking their work with them. Travelling is becoming increasingly popular and those who aren’t travelling wish they were.

Many people travel for long periods of time, working as they go or writing about their adventures and those people who wish they were travelling have lots of questions or opinions for those who are out on adventures.

If I had a pound for the amount of times I had been asked or heard the following statements, I would be able to traveller wherever I wanted to around the world.
1) Travelling’s expensive, how do you afford to do it? 

I get this question all the time, the truth is you don’t have to be rich to travel. I have undertaken three jobs with three different companies; Sunsail, Neilson Holidays and Peligoni. With all three I applied for jobs with them online, had interviews and embarked on adventures. What would you say if I told you all three companies paid for the following things; flights to a from the resorts (Three different places in Greece), my food and accommodation for the duration of my contract (one of which was 6 months long) and all three also paid me monthly. I worked as a water ski instructor but all three also employ; waitresses, bar staff, swimming coaches, lifeguards, nanny’s and many more. There are hundreds of companies like this all over the world; winter or summer season staff, cruise ship staff, au pairs or even English teachers. Check out my article A beginners guide to finding jobs abroad for more information.
2) How can you stay away for so long? Don’t you miss your family and friends 

The true is every traveller at some point gets home sick, misses friends, family, birthdays or nights out. Yes there has been some times when I wish I could go home for one day, but then you think about it, would you give up travelling, meeting new people, having crazy experiences for one night out at home or one meal. The word is so small now that with a touch of a button you can video chat someone across the world, or be at that party without being there. Technology and communication has made the world smaller and more accessible.
3) Aren’t you scared of what might happen 

Travelling can be scary but routine is lethal! Travelling can throw up all kinds of unknown situations both good and bad, but hey so can being at home. By getting out of bed each morning everyone takes a risk, the unknown can happen anywhere, at home whilst travelling. Yes some risks are greater than others, but they are still risks, you never know what might happen this afternoon, tomorrow or next year. You shouldn’t let that fear stop you from living, it should make you live life to the full.
4) Don’t you get lonely

Turning up to a new job, new city or country alone can be scared and lonely but can also be the greatest opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world. Staying in hostels is a great way to meet and interact with people, you never know who you may end up meeting; a new best friend, life long friends, a new boyfriend or girlfriend – travelling can change your life, you might meet someone who will hook you up with a great job in their home country. New people bring with them new opportunities, new travel destinations, jobs or relationships. Everyone you meet in your life has an effect on you or shapes you into who you are meant to be.
5) I wish I could do what you are doing/ your life is amazing

This is the question people ask me that I hate the most. The answer I give is always the same YOU CAN!!! Everyone can travel, everyone can work abroad if they would only take the first steps. Many people are scared to leave home or of the unknown. I can’t do what your doing is the biggest lie I have ever heard. Anyone can do anything if they just take the first steps, my mum always told me ‘there’s no such word as can’t’ when I was young I hated when she said that, but as I got older I realised she was 100% right! If someone has a dream or wants to do something the only person stopping them from doing it is themselves. Next time you think to yourself I can’t do that, remember what your parents told you or what I just told you.
6) Don’t you want to settle down? Have a career? 

Actually as someone in my mid 20s I don’t want to settle down yet, there’s still loads of things I haven’t done yet. Yes I could have probably been high up in a career by now but as someone who still has no idea what I want to do in life it’s a hard task. How do I know what I want to do if I haven’t seen all the options, I was never one of the who people who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. I see the people who studied and dreamed as a kid of a career, then when they make it they realise it’s notas amazing as they ought it was going to be. Society pressures us to have ‘normal’ jobs, but what are normal jobs. Gone are the days when people would go to school, university and then find a job in their local town or city. People want to explore, move away stand on their own two feet. As I am writing this I am in Bogota Colombia, I have two sisters one is in York at University and the other is working in a resort in Greece, my hometown is Norwich in Norfolk in the UK. I feel like this is as far away from the picture my parents had of our grown up lives as it could be.
The world is everyone’s oyster and they can choose to live it however they wish, but don’t spend your life looking and wishing you were doing what someone else is. You can do anything if you set your mind to it, don’t make excuses because in the end you will be the one who is unhappy.


6 things all travellers don’t like to hear

In recent years more and more people have taken to travelling; as a gap year, employment, to explore, have adventures or sometimes even taking their work with them. Travelling is becoming increasingly popular and those who aren’t travelling wish they were.

Many people travel for long periods of time, working as they go or writing about their adventures and those people who wish they were travelling have lots of questions or opinions for those who are out on adventures.

If I had a pound for the amount of times I had been asked or heard the following statements, I would be able to traveller wherever I wanted to around the world.
1) Travelling’s expensive, how do you afford to do it? 

I get this question all the time, the truth is you don’t have to be rich to travel. I have undertaken three jobs with three different companies; Sunsail, Neilson Holidays and Peligoni. With all three I applied for jobs with them online, had interviews and embarked on adventures. What would you say if I told you all three companies paid for the following things; flights to a from the resorts (Three different places in Greece), my food and accommodation for the duration of my contract (one of which was 6 months long) and all three also paid me monthly. I worked as a water ski instructor but all three also employ; waitresses, bar staff, swimming coaches, lifeguards, nanny’s and many more. There are hundreds of companies like this all over the world; winter or summer season staff, cruise ship staff, au pairs or even English teachers. Check out my article A beginners guide to finding jobs abroad for more information.
2) How can you stay away for so long? Don’t you miss your family and friends 

The true is every traveller at some point gets home sick, misses friends, family, birthdays or nights out. Yes there has been some times when I wish I could go home for one day, but then you think about it, would you give up travelling, meeting new people, having crazy experiences for one night out at home or one meal. The word is so small now that with a touch of a button you can video chat someone across the world, or be at that party without being there. Technology and communication has made the world smaller and more accessible.
3) Aren’t you scared of what might happen 

Travelling can be scary but routine is lethal! Travelling can throw up all kinds of unknown situations both good and bad, but hey so can being at home. By getting out of bed each morning everyone takes a risk, the unknown can happen anywhere, at home whilst travelling. Yes some risks are greater than others, but they are still risks, you never know what might happen this afternoon, tomorrow or next year. You shouldn’t let that fear stop you from living, it should make you live life to the full.
4) Don’t you get lonely

Turning up to a new job, new city or country alone can be scared and lonely but can also be the greatest opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world. Staying in hostels is a great way to meet and interact with people, you never know who you may end up meeting; a new best friend, life long friends, a new boyfriend or girlfriend – travelling can change your life, you might meet someone who will hook you up with a great job in their home country. New people bring with them new opportunities, new travel destinations, jobs or relationships. Everyone you meet in your life has an effect on you or shapes you into who you are meant to be.
5) I wish I could do what you are doing/ your life is amazing

This is the question people ask me that I hate the most. The answer I give is always the same YOU CAN!!! Everyone can travel, everyone can work abroad if they would only take the first steps. Many people are scared to leave home or of the unknown. I can’t do what your doing is the biggest lie I have ever heard. Anyone can do anything if they just take the first steps, my mum always told me ‘there’s no such word as can’t’ when I was young I hated when she said that, but as I got older I realised she was 100% right! If someone has a dream or wants to do something the only person stopping them from doing it is themselves. Next time you think to yourself I can’t do that, remember what your parents told you or what I just told you.
6) Don’t you want to settle down? Have a career? 

Actually as someone in my mid 20s I don’t want to settle down yet, there’s still loads of things I haven’t done yet. Yes I could have probably been high up in a career by now but as someone who still has no idea what I want to do in life it’s a hard task. How do I know what I want to do if I haven’t seen all the options, I was never one of the who people who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. I see the people who studied and dreamed as a kid of a career, then when they make it they realise it’s notas amazing as they ought it was going to be. Society pressures us to have ‘normal’ jobs, but what are normal jobs. Gone are the days when people would go to school, university and then find a job in their local town or city. People want to explore, move away stand on their own two feet. As I am writing this I am in Bogota Colombia, I have two sisters one is in York at University and the other is working in a resort in Greece, my hometown is Norwich in Norfolk in the UK. I feel like this is as far away from the picture my parents had of our grown up lives as it could be.
The world is everyone’s oyster and they can choose to live it however they wish, but don’t spend your life looking and wishing you were doing what someone else is. You can do anything if you set your mind to it, don’t make excuses because in the end you will be the one who is unhappy.


26th September 2016 – A historic day for Colombia

26th September 2016 will forever go down in history as a day that changed Colombia forever.

On September 26th, some of the world’s most powerful people descended on Colombia’s Caribbean city – Cartagena, for the official signing of the Peace declaration. The majority of Latin American President’s, world diplomates and Colombia’s most powerful, joined together to celebrate the end of a 52 year war – between Colombia and the FARC.

The whole of Colombia stopped at 5pm to pay respect to the FARC victims in a minute of silence and watched the Colombia President Santos and the FARC leader Timochenko sign the peace declaration.

The FARC leader Timochenko was greated by cheers and applause when he “apologised to all the victims of the conflict” something many Colombians had been waiting to hear, he then went onto ask Colombia for forgiveness “I would like to ask for forgiveness for all the pain that we have caused during this war.”

The civil war lasting 52 years was started by the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the largest rebel group in Colombia. They fought against the inequality in the country, with extreme violence, kidnapping and killing innocent victims, planting bombs, destroying anything they deemed important to the people. They were able to sponsor this war and violence by narco trafficking and kidnapping.

Colombians still have to vote on the peace agreement on Sunday October 2nd, which divides opinions through political power, money and no punishment. The Colombian people will have a say on the decision but today was a very significant day.

For Colombians today was emotional, every generation has somehow been affected by the war, if not directly by the inability to travel, fear or reputation of their country. Colombians in general are passionate, patriotic and loving. I wasn’t surprised to see president Santos, shed a tear whilst giving his ending speech in Cartagena today. A President who has done everything he possibly can to get to this point, he’s achieved what many other before him never had the persistence or patient to do so, the determination to achieve this, no matter how many supporters he lost in the process. He will always be known for this incredible achievement, today the most important signature he’s ever signed was shown live around the world and forever this will be remembered.

Today marks the beginning of the end of this chapter in Colombia’s history, Sunday will finally close the chapter. Colombia will then start a new chapter of opportunity, peace, time to start a fresh and build a better future for the next generation.

If Colombian’s vote yes for peace on Sunday the sun will set and reappear on Monday with a new beginning and outlook on life for the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to make friends whilst travelling

People travel in all kinds of ways; with friends, on their own, in groups or with family. No matter how people travel, making friends is part of the travelling experience. Travelling can be scary and lonely but it can also be the best time, full of new friends.

Everyone travelling wants to make friends, share experiences and have fun. It is easy to make friends whilst travelling; in hostels, bars and other places everyone is looking for new friends and will talk to you. Travelling can be lonely but it can also be rewarding for you to spend sometime away from society, to think independently and gain a new outlook on life.

Travelling has gives you friends all over the world, the people you meet travelling are special friends, they never knew you growing up, but they share the same interests as you, they are travelling which in turn makes them a certain type of person! Someone you may have many things in common with, same personality, interests an way of thinking. Not everyone travels so the people who do are special, they have experiences similar to your own, the thing about travellers is they always want to make friends. You tend to become better friends with other travellers quicker than usual friends, you are sharing experiences and memories that will last a lifetime, you both shared this part of your life together and you will never forget it.

I have met a large number of people from all over the world, everyone has different experiences, cultures and knowledge. These are the greatest people to learn from, maybe one of your new friends has been to your next destination and can tell you the good places to visit. Christmas in different countries is one of the most surprising things I learnt whilst travelling. Everyone picks up different experience or knowledge and travelling is a great way to learn about customs and traditions in other countries aside from the country I am visiting.

Travelling has taught me that friends are important, travelling is more fun with friends, it’s no fun doing something exciting if you don’t have anyone to share memories with.

Although this is true, all countries are filled with travellers in the same position as you, because it’s common to embark on an adventure on your own, and people are always willing and open to making new friends whilst travelling. In your loneliest nights remember it’s going to get better, you never know who you will meet tomorrow!

Top 5 Off the Beaten Path Short Breaks from Bogota

Bogota is located in the Andes mountain range almost in the centre of Colombia, meaning it is easy and sometimes cheap to fly to other places or cities for short trips. Everyone’s heard of the ‘typical’ shorts breaks from Bogota; Medellin, Villa de Leyva, Barichara, Guasca, Chia and the Amazons. This top 5 list isn’t like that, this list is where the locals go on long weekends, hidden treasures and places Colombian’s love.

I have created a list of the top five short trips to take from Bogota as identified by Colombians, for weekend breaks or long weekend breaks;

1.Prado

Prado is a small piece of paradise located around 4 hours drive south of Bogota. It is a small town a short distance from a huge lake and dam, the lake is surrounded by properties and provides the ideal spot for a large number of sporting activities, such as; water skiing, wakeboarding, sailing, caving, hiking and cliff diving. Prado has an average temperature of around 30 – 40c all year round, making it the perfect destination anytime of the year.

2. Los Llanos / Villavicencio

Villavicencio is the biggest city in the Los Llanos (plains area) located 125km or around 3 hours southeast of Bogota. Villavicencio is home to a number of villas, resorts and hotels. The area is well known for its farming and agriculture. Becoming the ideal location for horse riding, ecotourism and outdoor activities.

3. Girardot

Girardot is a city located around 134km or 3 and a half hours from Bogota. It is located in the southwest of Bogota, providing lovely warm temperatures. It is home to many, resorts, clubs and hotels, with swimming pools and other activities. Girardot has a water park as well as many historical landmarks and a National Park.

4.Villeta

Villeta is located 90 km or around 2 hours north of Bogota. Villeta has a warm climate all year round providing the perfect location for a warm weekend get away. Villeta has a large number of villas, spas and hotels to rent. The town has a large plaza, markets and old colonial buildings. Perfect for a relaxing weekend away from the buzz of the city.

5. Melgar

Melgar is located around 2 hours southwest of Bogota, down the mountains giving a lovely temperature of between 28 to 30 degrees Celsius. Melgar is often referred to by Colombian as the ‘city or sea of swimming pools’, due to the fact there is over 5,000 swimming pools. Melgar is home to a large number of villas and hotels for people to rent or stay in for the weekend. Melgar boosts a large number of actives such as; swimming, white water rafting, adventure sports as well as quiet calm boat trips.

As you can see these are some of the destinations Colombian visit on long weekend or for shorts breaks. From Bogota everyone wants to visit the warmer weather, which as you can see is easily accessible from all directions around the city.