Tag Archives: backpacker

Book Your Flight and Leave: Why You Won’t Regret Travelling

Here’s the biggest cliche ever, but it’s true.

I have learnt more in seven months travelling than I have in my entire life. I have learnt about different cultures, languages, perspectives and had the realisation that all the first world problems that I was bothered about before don’t mean a single thing. When I was living in Manchester I had it pretty good but I was in this bubble that no one wants to admit they are a part of – it’s not a bad thing but I just don’t want to be a part of it anymore.

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Creativity

I have always been a highly creative person but at home I was working 40 hour weeks and was stuck in a rut where I told myself that I had no time to work on the things I was passionate about. It’s been a real eye opener for me and during my time away I have learnt how to make money online by picking up freelance writing jobs, started a degree and got involved with various projects in which I have made a difference to other peoples lives rather than working 40 hours for some rich people that don’t care if you’re dead or alive.

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It’s easier than you think

Planning a basic  holiday to an unknown place can be a stressful experience. For example, you and a few  friends want to get away for a long weekend… there is usually a small hassle over who gets paid when, who book the flights, what to visit when you’re there and basically just making the most of your time.

The benefits of long term travel is that you book your flight and the rest comes together on its own. You don’t need to rush into the details and can let everything flow together nicely. It seems awful to me that some people will never experience some of the things I have and in this day and age there are plenty of ways to travel for little to nothing. If I can do it then anyone can!

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Perspective

The way I used to see the word is much different than how I do now. I used to see life so black and white. I feel like a much more open person, I used to think too much about everything  so would rarely step out of my comfort zone and had so many misconceptions about the world. Meeting new people the same age as me from other countries has made me realise how lucky and different we all are! This is something I can’t explain but you must find out for yourself.

You soon realise that the stereotypes we are so accustomed to from the media and films are not even close to being true.

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Accomplishment and Improvising

Every day is different and you can never be certain how your day will go. Sometimes you will find places you have never even heard of but are amazing. Some days you will find out the bus stopped running at 5pm and you have no 4g to find out how or the route home… but it always works out! Other days you will try a new food that you’ve never heard of. It might not always be perfect but it proves you can do most things without relying on all the luxuries that we are used to I love it because it’s new, different and exciting.

 

Most people dream of travelling so what is stopping you?

Book a flight and make it work! You can make this a reality.

 

 

 

 

Things To Consider When Backpacking Around Europe

There are an unbelievable amount of countries in Europe to visit and with the current freedom to travel to them all with no visa (I’m British) I can’t picture a better time to go to see it all!

Don’t plan too far ahead

Going to any country without a plan may seem intimidating at first but it is the best way to travel. It’s easy for anyone to go online and pick out the most popular places to go to but then you risk falling into tourist traps, how can your trip be special if you just do the same as everyone else? Don’t get me wrong, the main attractions of places are popular for a reason but be prepared to step out of your comfort zone if you want to experience something different! I planned to stay in Montenegro for 2 weeks but ended up staying for a month because we heard about cool places to go after speaking to locals, friends and realising there is so much to see and do that isn’t always highly rated online.

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You will discover places you never knew existed

Before I took this trip I never realised how big the world is, I always knew it was big but when you travel and realise you only have a certain amount of time to see things it becomes over whelming! Sure, you will have heard of the Eiffel Tower and other famous monuments, but for me it has been all about finding amazing places that no one else I know has been to…  learning about other ways of life that you haven’t heard about in the media. It’s very hard to explain what I mean but everyone everywhere is so similar, we are all human. We just accept different ways of life because that’s what we are born into so we never question anything despite the possibilities being endless.

Flixbus 

If you are trying to budget, Flixbus is the cheapest way to travel around. I bought a pass for 99 euros and that gives you 5 trips pretty much anywhere in Europe over a period of three months. Some journeys can be over 10 hours but you get toilets, wifi, plug sockets and the occasional favourable view.

Language

As a native English speaker I have been brought up with this ignorant mind-set that everyone speaks English- they don’t. When visiting new countries learn basic words such as ‘Hello’ ‘Thank you’ and ‘toilet’ it makes life easier and shows respect to locals who then may try and interact with you (unless they’re moody.) Download Duolingo to learn the basics! It’s also good to learn ‘sorry’ if you’re always bumping into people and clumsy like me or ‘wine’ because sometimes you can’t find it on the menu.

Visit off season

Visiting well-known hotspots in summer can be exhausting! Queues can be ridiculous and if its summer holidays there may be kids everywhere. I visited a Greek island out of season and it was amazing, super chilled and quiet. Unless you are after a super busy, more expensive trip then definitely check out quieter times, you are much less likely to get ripped off.

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Travel to Countries that use their own currency

Usually very Cheap!

Go to remote places

If you are a backpacker then you know that flashy stuff, paying for tours and spending 50 euros on a meal is simply not an option (I honestly can’t believe I ever bought into that stuff!) Get a random train somewhere slightly out of the city – or walk! And you will find cheaper places, REAL places, bustling with life and often much cheaper prices. For example, in Germany just outside of Berlin there is Potsdam or in Italy next to Florence there is Lucca. So many nice and underrated places out there… go and find them! I trust that you travel to learn about new places and not listen to anything the crappy rip off tours tell you. TOURIST TRAP ALERT!

Insider Tips: Things to do in Skopje

Why visit Skopje, Macedonia?

Skopje is a small city and unlike any other place that I have ever visited. The people are extremely friendly, the cost of living is cheap and it’s almost as if they are living in the past and the future. One minute you can feel as if you are in ancient ruins and the next minute you are walking over a golden bridge surrounded by overly modern towering buildings.

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What to do in Skopje

The main and central part of Skopje is called Macedonia Square, a large open space surrounded with places to eat and drink. It is a bright and cheerful area filled with large statues and fountains – a typical tourist haven. This part of Skopje feels extremely modern but there was the constant tourist vibe as people are continuously hassling you to buy sunglasses, beggars asking for change and people posing in groups with selfie sticks. At night (when it is clear) they set up a telescope in the square so you can look up into the sky and identify stars and planets, I was upset that it was too cloudy whilst I was there but you can message the Facebook page to ask daily when and if they are setting up that evening!

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You can understand why there has been an uproar in the country – the government has spent so much money on huge buildings and statues to make the country more ‘touristy’ but when you’re there you witness a lot of poverty through the residents.

In Skopje the only form of public transport I used was taxis, the average taxi ride is around 100 DNR (about £1.50) and that can get you more or less anywhere.

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From wherever you are in Skopje you can see the famous ‘Millennium Cross’ we ventured up to the top via cable car as it is so high – just remember if you buy a return ticket for the cable car to keep it with you as you will need it to get back down! If it’s a sunny day the ideal thing is to take up a picnic and some beers and enjoy the view. If you are slightly crazy you can also take the 2 hour uphill trek to the top to see the cross, the cross itself is bigger than expected but the views of Macedonia and Albania were breathtaking.

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Food and Drink

If you want to buy alcohol from the shop in Skopje you should try their local wine which costs around 100 DNR and is delicious, just be warned you cannot buy alcohol in shops after 7pm.

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We visited the Old Bazaar which is as if you have stepped into the past and entered Turkey, the smell of shisha and people sat around drinking Turkish tea is a very relaxed vibe. At the top of Old Bazaar is Old Town Brewery, there was a live band on in the day and we drank locally brewed IPA and lemon and ginger beers. This is supposed to be a tourist hot spot but we weren’t huge fans of the beer as we all got a headache after drinking it… slightly overrated in my opinion. However we did eat some really nice food there including the ‘cheese bowl’ which was just a bowl of 4 different melted cheeses… heaven.

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Other places I’d recommend going to is Radio Bar for drinks as they had good electronic music on in the evening and also Brooklynski Jazz Bistro, for amazing salads, good customer service and live jazz 7 days a week. Coffee Factory for a delicious iced coffee and Sushi co for food!