Year: 2015

My Packing List Pt. 2

Read My Packing List Pt. 1 This is the second part of my packing list, the one with all the lady stuff. When you think about it, it takes a helluva lot of grooming to even look half presentable. If it were up to me, I’d let myself go to seed and not bother with shaving or plucking… but it’s not, I would be shunned by society for sure if I took a more relaxed approach to beautifying. That said, there’s no point going OTT while you’re backpacking. So leave the straighteners, foundation and fake tan at home.

My Packing List Pt. 1

There are a million and one packing lists out there for RTW backpacking trips, this is mine, and I hope (fingers crossed) that I’m taking the right things and that I can break it down in an easy fashion so as to help you. Here it goes. Countries visited: India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Bali, Borneo Weather: Mostly hot, some cold nights Length of trip: 3-5 months Type of travel: Budget (hostels, sleeper trains and street food) NOTE: I’ve included some quick-buy links to some products to make them easy to shop. Some, but not all are affiliate links from which I make a tiny commission, this is at no extra charge to you. Please email me with any packing-related questions too.  The Backpack I chose one based on price to be honest, I didn’t want to spend hundreds of pounds and I don’t think you need to. I bought a Karrimor backpack from Amazon for £53 and it had great reviews. Hopefully it will be in a locker most of the time. I chose a 65l …

My Travel Bucket List

Follow my blog with Bloglovin On the 5th of February 2016 (that’s pretty soon – eek) I’ll be heading out on the road for my round the world trip. I’ve spent a lot of time planning logistics, finances and other admin things like that, but I haven’t sat down and thought about what I want to get out of this trip. So I’ve reached down deep and come up with a bucket list of experiences I want from my travels… 1. Get a massage I have never had a massage (gasp), I know, shoot me! There are two reasons, one being I hate spending money on things I can’t see… like nice underwear, totally pointless to me. The other is, ewwwwww, stranger intimately caressing my naked body – I seriously don’t get enough action of that kind anyway, so my body isn’t used to it. My little sister LOVES massages, she’s obsessed, she even let a souk-keeper molest her in Marrakesh in exchange for a quick back rub (now that was funny) so they must …

The Atlas of Beauty Celebrates Diversity

(Main photo.  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Michaela Noroc) Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc‘s ambitious project The Atlas of Beauty aims to capture portraits of women from every country in the world, she’s already snapped girls in 37 countries and shows no signs of slowing. From Western Europe to Asia, North Africa, Scandinavia and the Caribbean Noroc shows us the vast diversity of women, and that it is all these differences that make each of us beautiful. As a mixed race, brown-skined child growing up in the UK in the 90s I felt so hideous because I was the polar opposite of all the thin, white and almost exclusively blond women in the media. These days we have beauties that break the mould like Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, but they still mainly adhere to Western ideals of beauty – so theres a way to go yet. These multi-coloured, multi-cultural portraits from around the globe make the runways and fashion magazines I read seem unbearably dull and bland in comparison. See the rest of The Atlas of …

Pre-Travel Health Check for Girls

What a yawn-a-thon life can be at times, even planning a RTW, once in a lifetime, trip comes with its fair share of boring tasks. One thing you should never neglect is your health, no matter how dull a trip to the doctors may seem. Here’s your checklist of things you need to do before you set foot on that plane: Sort out your contraception The last thing you want while you’re travelling is to fall preggers… literal nightmare. Hot, sweaty, with child. Not the ideal scenario. I mean OF COURSE you’ll be using condoms during any sexual encounter but accidents do happen. So if you’re taking the pill, stock up, if you have an injection, you’ll need to switch to something else for long term travel. Personally I favour the implant as it just stays in there, and requires zero effort from moi. Also it stops me menstruating which is BRILLIANT! I hate periods, especially on holiday. Not having them saves me money and room in my luggage bar the emergency tampon or two. …

Girl wearing matador hat

Don’t Tell Me to ‘Be Careful’…

I’ve been planning my round-the-world trip for almost a year now, and without fail, the first thing anyone says to me when I tell them my plans is ‘Ooh, be careful’. Not ‘wow, that’s amazing’, ‘have fun’ or simply ‘why?’, always a warning about the dangers that await me out there in the big wide world. I have no proof but I could bet my bottom dollar that a male announcing a backpacking trip wouldn’t get the third degree. At first I wasn’t annoyed by all the negative ninnies but after the 100th time I just told the person expressing concern for my safety to f*ck off. It’s boring. It’s rude. It’s xenophobic actually. There are dangers everywhere, of course, but when someone tells me they’re going on holiday I don’t tell them that their plane could crash, they could get robbed or they could trip over, bang their head and die. If I did tell them that I’d be called many things, but definitely not caring. Though not the same, this faux-concern reminds me of …

CitzenM Hotel, Bankside London

If you want a truly unique hotel experience then I think I’ve found just the hotel for you. There have been a recent crop of trendy hotels in the capital of late that are all amazing but have the same (and I hate this word) ‘hipster’ credentials. The CitizenM is all about great design, good service and a big dose of cutting-edge technology thrown in for good measure. I took my sister and my iPhone down to London’s chic Bankside to check it out. What’s the vibe? Cool, modern, European. The hotel lobby is one of the most serene and relaxed I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting – not in a way that’s boring at all, it was a delightfully relaxing experience. I checked in using the touch-screen stations, which on the day did actually have a technical glitch, so it took a while. I’m sure when they’re fully functional they’re a breeze to use and there was staff on hand to help me complete check in. There are things to look at everywhere …

Beauty Bits To Take in Your Backpack 

There are the obvious things and then the not so obvious things…. A caveat to this article is that you may require different bits to me. You will certainly need more than the items on this list, but the lesson to take away from this, is to think outside the box. Just because someone has told you to take certain bits, you need to truly tailor your packing to you. If you have annoying baby hair and use a certain gel to tame them every day, than by Jove, take it with you (and a spare). If you have skin that burns particularly easily then take your favourite SPF, they might not have a high enough factor for you in Sri Lanka or wherever. So the following are examples but also represent a savvy way of thinking when it comes to beauty. Hairdressing Scissors Am I a hairdresser? No. Could I be? …Nooooo. Is my hair a bit mental? Yes! On a level, though, you’re not going to shell out for a haircut on your travels, …