Travel State Of Mind

Is there such a thing as a travel state of mind? Do you feel happier when you travel? Are you more adventurous? Confident? And if so… do you prefer your traveller self?

It’s now two and a half years since I left full-time employment. Wow, that went fast! Since then I’ve spent my life jet setting, as I worked hard to turn my passion for travel into a full-time job. From hiking volcanoes in Indonesia and sailing around Croatia, to eating my way around Barcelona and exploring Chile’s Atacama Desert… it’s been one serious adventure!

Photographing the lagoons near El Tatio, Chile
Photographing the lagoons near El Tatio Atacama, Chile (Photo: @BackpackerMacca)
Piaynemo, Raja Ampat
Piaynemo, Raja Ampat

I’ve written before about how this travel blog came about and why I love travelling… I even blogged a few weeks ago about how I try to keep travel fresh and exciting when it’s such a regular part of my life. This blog is just part of my unconventional career, as I’m often busy working on travel content for the likes of Metro, Lonely Planet and Skyscanner.

But as the travel bug continues to be such a huge part of my world, are the destinations luring me in, or is it more about the person I am when I travel? Well, in all honesty it’s a combination of the two.

Meeting the kids in Arborek Village, Raja Ampat
Meeting the kids in Arborek Village, Raja Ampat

I’m naturally curious, and after travelling to a few destinations, I found myself keen to explore more. That lust to explore and understand our planet has only increased as I’ve ventured further afield.

Yet there’s another huge other aspect to it. I went on my three-and-a-half month adventure around Central America, Mexico and Cuba because I was pretty fed up. I’d hit rock bottom. I was exhausted by my 24/7 job and non-stop life and couldn’t see a way out. I was a super-duper-organised-type. The one with two phones, a laptop, and a schedule hectic enough for two or three people. People like me didn’t just quit… or did they?

I’m a strong believer that if you don’t like something, you should change it. So off I went. I learned Spanish in Mexico, volcano boarded in Nicaragua, kayaked in Panama, drove around in retro cars in Cuba and learned about Mayan history while clambering all over the ruins in Mexico and Guatemala.

Photographing the incredible view of sunrise from Mount Batur, Bali
Photographing the incredible view of sunrise from Mount Batur, Bali

I noticed quite a change in myself. Travelling encouraged me to be more confident, stop obsessing over how I looked, try new foods, spend less time looking at my phone, and be more active. I’ll admit I wasn’t the most adventurous person before travelling, but suddenly I was jumping into waterfalls, sliding down volcanoes and even hang-gliding! I made new friends from all over the world and within just a few days of being abroad, I felt excited by life again.

Arriving in Costa Rica
Arriving in Costa Rica

I guess I found my happy place! While that trip was about the ultimate escape – body and mind, I think I’ve started to look at things differently in general. I’m more open-minded, confident, active, adventurous and relaxed. Whether I’m travelling the world or back home in the UK, I try to embrace what’s in front of me.

Hopefully it’s something you can do too! Sometimes it’s just a case of venturing to a different restaurant in your area, shaking up your schedule, hopping on a train to explore somewhere new or switching off your phone and enjoying a simpler life.

While travelling I discovered a passion for photography and making videos – things that I do both at home and away! I guess travel has been a refreshing lesson in self-discovery.

Enjoying lunch at Bar Boulud, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Checking out a new restaurant with friends in London

Eurostar selected me to be part of their “Travel State of Mind” campaign – a state I certainly possess! Hopefully after this you’ll remember to bottle the positive feelings you have while travelling and apply it to your everyday life!

Are you less stressed, more adventurous and more active when travelling? Do you think travel can make you happier? I’d love to know your thoughts.

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Travel State Of Mind

Barcelona’s Top New Restaurants For 2017

Barcelona’s top new restaurants for 2017 include three-Michelin-starred dining, a culinary amusement park and an eatery by one of the world’s most famous footballers.

Recently I wrote about the top food experiences worth travelling the world for. Topping that list was a restaurant called Disfrutar in Barcelona – a place where I believe I’ve eaten two of the best meals of my life! But does it face competition? New restaurants are popping up in the city all the time. With plenty of great new openings for 2017, perhaps it’s time I returned to eat my way around the city!

So whether you’re looking for high-end gourmet creations, a casual bite to eat, or something a little bit quirky, here are Barcelona’s top new restaurants for 2017. Continue reading Barcelona’s Top New Restaurants For 2017

Stop Overpacking! Hand Luggage Essentials For Any Traveller

From eye masks and phone chargers to miracle cream, here are the essentials I always pack in my hand luggage.

Hello from 37,000 feet. Clouds to the left, jokers to the right. No wait… spare seat to my right (yes, I’ve already celebrated that one!) and this is roughly where I’ll be for the next 10 hours of my day. I’m heading over to Los Angeles, then on to Hawaii, and as with any trip, there was the usual packing spree last night.Plane window view

I like to think I’m a pretty seasoned traveller now, you would be too after taking 47 flights in a year! While what goes in my main luggage changes with the destination, my hand luggage is pretty consistent. So what makes my journey easier, and what tips do I have for your next trip? Let’s see…

Travel Packing Essentials: Ear Plugs

I can’t remember the last time I went on a trip and didn’t pack ear plugs! I’m not guaranteed to need them on every flight or at every destination, but there have been a few times when I’ve been eternally grateful for them! I really rate these ones in particular, which have blocked out screaming twin boys, a guy who liked a good phlehmy snort, a constant toilet flush (learned the hard way not to sit near the toilet…) and a German stag do.

Travel Packing Essentials: Eye Mask Continue reading Stop Overpacking! Hand Luggage Essentials For Any Traveller

House Sitting: Your First Assignment

Considering house sitting? Find out exactly what to expect from your first assignment.

Recently I revealed I’d started house sitting. I realised that it could really complement my life as a travel blogger. Along with looking after a cute pet, you also get to experience life in different places around the world.

After many months travelling, interspersed with short periods at my family home, I’ve started to REALLY miss my former London life. I used to go for walks along the river, discover cute local pubs and restaurants, and thrived on that all-encompassing London buzz.

Primrose Hill View
Missing London

While Trusted Housesitters has properties available all over the world, I decided for my first assignment I’d like to head back to London. I applied for four house sits in the space of week. They were all looking for someone for a few days in January. Two had over 20 applicants and after playing the waiting game I received generic “thanks but no thanks” messages via my account. Continue reading House Sitting: Your First Assignment

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