Packing for South East Asia + Printable Packing List

When trying to figure out what to pack for my trip of 6 weeks to South-East Asia, it was very hard to find any packing lists. There are plenty for Europe and America, but only a few for South-East Asia. In particular, there’s barely anything for countries like Cambodia.

My 6 week trip would primarily be in Cambodia, but I was also going to have a stop over in Kuala Lumpar, and possibly go to Vietnam and Thailand. I expected that it would be hot over there, but I also had to prepare for the cold weather in Australia for my departure and arrival back in the country.

So the question remained – what do I pack?

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Litchfield Day Trip from Darwin

When visiting Darwin in the Northern Territory, yo know you’re in for a treat of fair drinkim Aussie culture. There’s usually two things on the top of the list of must see sights – jumping crocodiles and Litchfield National Park. Crocodiles are definitely in abundance in Darwin, and you do not want to run into them in an unconctrolled environment (such as Crocodylus Park or Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise) so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to safely see crocodiles.

When you’re not watching the crocs, you definitely should be checking out the local natural wonders. So Litchfield National Park is a must see when in Darwin. Despite the fact that you have to drive out of Darwin to see the beautiful natural wonders, it’s actually fairly easy to get from Darwin to Litchfield National Park – and totally worth it!

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Winter Weekend in the Hunter Valley

I while back (well June long weekend last year) I was invited along to a friends hen’s weekend in the Hunter Valley. I only just remembered that I never published this post – so here is what I wrote almost a year ago to the day!

My friend picked me up from my place at 9.30ish and we took off on our way towards Sydney. The drive between Canberra and Sydney is always incredibly boring, but we had plenty to catch up on so it went by quickly. We drove onto the M7/M2 and through to the Hunter Valley Region.

It seems that the best way out to the Hunter is by car. I believe there are buses and possibly trains, but the quickest and easiest way would be to drive.

It’s so pretty out this way – there are so many vineyards and wineries along the way. I think it took about 4.5 hours for us to drive up, which is pretty good considering I live in South Canberra.

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The view from our cabin balcony

Accommodation

For the 10 of us staying, there were two 2-bed cabins booked at Cyprus Lakes Resort. These cabins were two storey, had a medium size kitchen, a lounge and dining area, and a big deck out the back. There was a fantastic view from the balconies too!

Sunset view from our Balcony

Sunset view from our Balcony

The top storey had the two bedrooms, with each room having it’s own bathroom. There was also a fold out sofa bed in the loungeroom.

To access the cabins, a 6 digit code it sent to your mobile number. During your stay, you must use this code to access your room. Not sure what you would do if you forgot your code and you had left your phone inside with the code in it….

Cheese and wine in the Hunter Valley Wine region Australia

An afternoon of cheese and wine

In the cabin I stayed in, the sink in the bathroom of the main room had not been cleaned properly. Actually, it looked like someone hadn’t cleaned it at all. It was very obvious too, so I don’t know how someone could have missed it. Everything else was clean and tidy though, with the towels rolled up on the bed looking every bit professional.

I found the doona on the bed not warm enough for me. But there was an extra blanket available,

We used the heater the second night and it definitely kept us warm. Just remember to turn it off when you leave otherwise you will be charged excess use fees!

Overall, I really liked these cabins, and I think I would stay here again.

Dinner at The Cellar Restaurant

This is a cosy restaurant with plenty of room for group dinners. There is a fireplace in the middle and fern trees around the window sides of the restaurant. I thought it had a lovely atmosphere. We were seated next to the fire and they let us know they could turn the fire down if it became too hot for anyone. Always nice to know that a customers comfort is important as well as the service and food.

The Menu

The Menu

There was a large menu of choices. We were told that if we ordered a main that we would need to order a side as well. Pretty much everyone at the table ordered a type of steak or whole fish. We shared about 7 sides between the 10 of us.

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Beans & Blanched Almonds, Roast Beetroot, and Sauteed Mushroooms for our sides

I chose the Sirlion steak cooked medium rare with the mushroom sauce. I loved the sauce and that it came in a giant ramikan jug. There was also a giant wedge of lemon served on the plate. I’ve never seen a piece of steak served with lemon on the side before, so I’m guessing it was for presentation reasons. This makes sense because the presentation was lackluster.

Steak and Veggies for Dinner at Polkobin, Hunter Valley

Steak and Veggies for Dinner

We didn’t stay for dessert, but we did look at the menu. There appeared to be no chocolate dessert. There were desserts with bits of chocolate in it or white chocolate, but no full chocolate dessert like a cake or mousse. I found that a bit weird and a little disappointing.

Drinks at Harrigans

This place is your typical Irish pub. We found a spot to sit and talk inside near the sports bar area, but were soon told that the chairs had to be moved away as there was a DJ playing soon. I have to say, whoever that DJ was – was absolutely terrible! There was terrible mixing (if any at all), beat matching did not exist, and the same songs were played twice within 30 minutes of each other. They were all typical songs that you hear a resident pub DJ play. It was kinda fun, but seriously, this person should not be allowed to DJ in public when they haven’t even got the basics!

Also, if you plan to get the courtesy bus from Harrigan’s – DON’T. We asked if the bus was going soon and the bus driver said in 10 minutes he would leave. After sitting on the bus for 20 minutes, he came in, turned off the lights and the bus and closed the doors. Maybe he forgot about us? We waited another 10 minutes before deciding to ask what was going on. The bus driver decided he wasn’t allowed to leave until the bus was full. Um… why didn’t you just say that to begin with? We could have caught a taxi home 30 minutes earlier. I was pretty annoyed about that…

(Ps I was sober for this whole experience)

Wine Tour

The company that we booked our bus through was James’ Wine Tours. I could not think of a better way to do this. James is lovely and informative and organizes a great tour. He gives you a run down for the day and then you can modify the schedule if there’s a specific winery you do not want to visit or really want to see. He has multiple buses that can be used, and can seat up to 12 people in each bus. He also has a smaller car for private tours.

The tour also involves stopping for lunch. Whilst I can’t remember the name of the restuarant, it was a cosy and warm atmosphere.There were a few gluten free options available. I chose the chicken and it was a delicious meal to have inbetween the wine tours (although I wasn’t drinking or tasting any wine that day).

Lunch stop for Hunter Valley Wine Tour - Gluten Free Grilled Chicken and Mash

Gluten Free Grilled Chicken and Mash

There were horse drawn carriages outside as well… I’m not sure if this was something the establishment offered or organised as well, but I would think that it would be a fabulous experience to take a hrse drawn carriage through a wine region.

Horse Drawn Carriages in the Hunter Valley

Horse Drawn Carriages in the Hunter Valley

The wineries we went to were:

  • First Creek – I purchased a bottle of Rose.
  • Domaine de Binet – I purchased a Semillon Savingion Blanc & a Tempranillo (Red wine similar to a Shiraz)
  • Hanging Tree Wines – I purchased a Sparkling Moscato

They were all very nice wineries, and I would definitely go back. Even in winter the Hunter Valley was beautiful. I would recommend that everyone visit the Hunter Valley and do a wine tour at least once in their lifetime!

Wines purchased in the Hunter Valley in Winter 2014

Some of the wines I purchased

Have you been on a wine tour in the Hunter Valley? Where would you recommend to go on a wine tour? Share your experiences in the comments!

Vintage Barbie’s Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

Vintage Barbie's Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

As the year that was 2014 comes to a close, we all seem to reflect on the previous 12 months: What was good, what was bad, what we learnt and what we appreciate. This year was all about travel for me. I had planned this trip for over a year and dreamed about a big Europe summer trip for many years. It’s a little sad to know that it’s all over now. But nonetheless, in my reflective state, I thought this would be a great time to recap the year in travel moments.

Vintage Barbie's Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

THE WORST

Every person has their share of travel nightmares. Most of the time, these end up turning into great stories that travellers share with family and friends when they return, or laugh about in future years with otherlike-minded travellers. Here is what I would consider the worst travel experiences I had during 2014:

Inconsiderate Hostel Guests

I was pretty excited about Yatch Week in Croatia. Whilst I was not going to be on an official Yatch Week boat, I knew that everyone in Split was here for the same thing – to set off sailing over the next week indulging in alcoholic beverages and getting a serious tan. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for at least 8 years, so I was pretty damn excited to be doing a Contiki Croatian Sail during Yatch Week.

I got into Split a few days before my friends. I decided to get a small private room at a hostel so I could properly sleep before the big sailing experience began. The room was part of an apartment style set up: there were three rooms, each with a desk and TV, a communal bathroom, then there was a common area for the kitchen and lounge. It was a nice and cosy little set up.

The day before my sailing tour I met a couple of people staying in the other rooms. Being fellow Aussies we began chatting and I realised they too were doing a sailing tour for Yatch week. They asked if I wanted to join them for some clubbing that night but I decided I wanted to have an early night.

At about 4am I could hear this tapping. Someone was knocking at the door. I definitely was not getting out of bed to answer the door. Firstly, I would need to get dressed. Secondly, I didn’t know who it was and I didn’t want to accidentally let anyone in to the rooms if they weren’t staying in here. (I hadn’t met the other two roommates). I figured that if they were staying with the other people that their friends would let them in.

The knocking stopped and I tried to go back to sleep. Then it began again about thirty minutes later. I decided I should properly just answer the door and see what is going on. Luckily, the person that they were after came back to room. I could hear them arguing about having to wait on the door step for this person etc etc. They came inside and one person went to bed, the other went to the kitchen. This person in the kitchen appeared to be the girl I talked to earlier today, and it seemed like she brought home a new “friend”.

That’s when the noises started. It was disgusting. So I turned on the TV in my room, sort of passive-aggressively indicating that I could hear what was going on, and if they could please keep it down so I could get back to sleep. Obviously it didn’t do anything. They got louder. So the TV was turned up louder. It was like a war of noises. Eventually her friend yelled out at her and told her to shut up. Thank god.

The noise subsided and I thought I could go back to sleep. But I couldn’t sleep.

Then at 6am the knocker started again with the incessant consistent knocking. I had had enough. I quickly put on some clothes, and answer the door asking what the hell is going on? I had a few words with the poor guy, letting out my frustration on him. His friend came out of the room to let him in and also apologise to me and I stormed back to my room. I decided I may as well get up.

My friends had just got the overnight ferry from Italy so I decided to go meet up with them. We got some brekkie and I told them about the unfortunate noises I heard during the night. We returned to my accommodation to get something and I noticed that the inconsiderate hostel person was sleeping in the kitchen. I decided I would now be loud in moving around my room (as it was next to the kitchen and away from the other rooms).

When I went to the kitchen to get a drink I noticed an ugly sight – she was not just sleeping, but she was passed out, sprawled across the couch with her vagina out for the world to see. I think I may have vomited a little bit in my mouth. After that discovery we swiftly left the hostel.

Yep, pretty disgusting. That’s why it’s up there with the worst travel experiences of 2014!

Vintage Barbie's Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

Carrying around 25kgs of luggage in a broken suitcase is definitely not a good experience…

Loosing my phone and camera

You would think that having your camera stolen on the 3rd night of your trip would tell you to be more careful with your belongings. But sometimes alcohol makes you forget about those important things…

My camera was stolen out of my handbag when I was in a Mykonos nightclub. Pretty devasting as it was a birthday present earlier that year. My partner bought it for me because it was shockproof, waterproof and had plenty of great camera features. I just tried to look on the bright side that it wasn’t all the photos from my trip on there.

When I left Greece I bought a cheap camera at the airport. This would get me by for the next 2 months. I’d also been using my iphone to take photos and considering the picture quality of iphone 5 is pretty good, I was ok with using it instead of a “real” camera.

Fast forward almost 7 weeks later. I’m waking up after a night of too many buckets of cocktails on my last night with my Topdeck tour. My handbag is missing. My phone, camera, keycard and my friends wallet was in there. Oh no…

After balling out my eyes at breakfast, it appears that the tour leader spoke to security and found my bag. Fortunately my friends wallet was in there, as well as my keycard. However the phone and camera were gone.

It was horrible knowing I couldn’t easily contact people back home. I’d also lost ALL photos from my trip as I used both my camera and my phone to take various pictures. I lost all the contact info from the amazing people I had met on my trip. And the worst part was that I already had my camera stolen earlier in the trip – how could I left this happen again?

I now know what to do to avoid these things happening again, but dear hindsight, why couldn’t I have just avoided this happening at all?

Read about the mistakes I learnt while travelling.

THE BEST

They say you can only appreciate the good when you have the bad. And when it comes to travelling, most of the time it’s the good experiences you will remember. For me, I had so many fantastic experiences when I travelled this year, so it’s hard to narrow it down to only two favourites. There’s the London Jungle night time visit, sunset at Santorini, exploring the mountains of Greece, visiting the windmills in Holland, walking the city walls of Dubrovnik, Ultra Music Festival in Croatia, my entire Topdeck tour… It’s definitely hard picking the best of the best, but I have to say there were two definite stand outs:

Paros Boat Trip

I absolutely loved my Busabout Greek Islands tour. The people in the group, the activities and the sights made it a fantastic experience. I had a fantastic and fun time on this trip and would most definitely do it again.

Vintage Barbie's Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

One of the highlights of the trip was the day tour around the adjoining Islands of Paros. Paros is small, less well known and one of the quieter Islands of the Greek Islands. The island follows a strict siesta between 2pm and 5pm, but the shops reopen around 5-6pm and stay open until about 1am. It’s not a party island like Mykonos or Ios, but it was still a fun and beautiful place to visit.

As part of my Greek Island tour with Busabout, we were offered an optional extra activity of the Paros Boat Tour. I had read lots of good things about it so I was definitely keen to do this activity. I decided that €45 would be worth it.

Our day trip started relatively early as we had to get down to the port to board our boat. The boat reminded me a bit of a sailors boat out of a cartoon, so I instantly liked it’s kitsch look.

Vintage Barbie's Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

We boarded the boat and started off into the sea. We all just sat back and took in the beauty of the water. It was truly amazing how blue the water looked! Then we stopped for a swim and the water was… Well, salty. I have never swum in saltier water! It was definitely something different!

After the first swim spot, we again moved on to see more beautiful hidden gems of the Greek Islands. When lunchtime came, we headed off to another secret spot to have a Greek BBQ lunch. We also had some homemade Greek wine and Ouzo. I quite enjoyed the Ouzo… Maybe a little too much! I think the rest of the group enjoyed the alcohol as well!

Vintage Barbie's Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

After lunch we set off for another swim spot and this is where I saw the worlds best ocean water. Even after all that wine and Ouzo, I still remember how crystal blue the water looked. I was truly blown away.

If anyone I know does the Busabout Greek Islands tour, I always tell them that they have to do the Paros Boat Trip. It was so much fun, and set the mood for the rest of the holiday to be a fun filled adventure!

Climbing the Eiffel Tower

I don’t care how clichéd it is – it has always been on my bucket list to climb the Eiffel Tower. The first time I went to Paris I didn’t get a chance to climb it – the people who said the lines would be too long if I didn’t get there first thing in the morning were right…

This time was my second time in Paris, and I once again didn’t get up early enough. So instead I explored the beautiful city and decided a picnic beside the iconic structure would do just fine. After my dinner and taking lots of photos with the sun setting behind the tower, I decided to have a peak at the length of the lines.

Vintage Barbie's Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

I wanted to climb it myself, rather than take the elevator, so I had a look at the line on the stairs entrance, and to my suprise, it was pretty much empty! I didn’t understand how in peak season, at sunset, there weren’t more people experiencing the climb. I decided that this is the best opportunity I would ever get to climb it, so I joined the small line, waited about 10 minutes and before I knew it I was climbing the Eiffel Tower!

Vintage Barbie's Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

A standard travel selfie

I reached the first floor and I’m sure the smile on my face was clear to see – I was actually here! I wandered around the tower, looking through the glass floor in the middle of the tower to see how far up I had climbed. Although, my fear of heights prevented me from stepping too far onto the glass…

Vintage Barbie's Best and Worst Travel Experiences of 2014

I then took the stairs on the Sienne River side of the tower to continue up to Level 2. I felt a sense of accomplishment from climbing up the stairs. I shook my head at those who lazily took the elevators. Did they realise what kind of experience they were missing out on?

I took well over a hundred photos. The sun was still setting and the sky seem to glisten. The whole time I was by myself but had a great time: I saw amazing sights and completed a long time dream. Cliched or not, this will always be one of my favourite travel moments.

What were your top travel moments of 2014? Or do you have some horror travel stories to tell? Let me know in the comments below!

My Time in Athens

The Acropolis overlooking Athens

Athens disappointed me.

I’ve been to London and Paris before, so I’ve experienced a big city, and I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting out of Athens, but it didn’t live up to whatever expectation I had.

When I first arrived in Athens, I came from the airport in a taxi and saw a lot of the outer suburbs on the way. My taxi driver, Niko, was so lovely and friendly and was a great introduction to Greece. He gave me a bit of history about Athens and Greece and answered any questions I had.

I knew Greece had a rich culture and history, so I was keen to explore the city of Athens.

First thing I noticed was the fact that it is a dirty, old and run down city. I knew Greece had financial problems, but I guess I still assumed the city would be pretty and looked after, considering it is visited by so many tourists…

Anyway, I decided to go explore. Firstly, it is not an easy city to navigate. I was staying a bit of a walk from the centre (although apparently I was staying in the city centre) so I had to figure out how to get to the sights. I had men hiss at me whilst I walked down the street. I was almost fully covered, with a maxi dress, button up shirt and hair up in a braid. So I was a bit shocked to have these strange hissing noises made at me.

My exploring was made harder by the fact that I could not understand the street signs. It really doesn’t help when you don’t understand the language. I had goggled where to go earlier so I thought I knew where I was going, but the English tanslation of Greek words was really unhelpful.

My first meal in Athens – delicious frozen yoghurt

Eventually I found my way, and got some delicious ice cream in the Mastrimaki square. I found some shops just near this square, so I decided to have a quick look in them and buy a few little bits and pieces. I was jet lagged, and quite frankly, too anxious and nervous to stay out, so I went back to my hotel to figure out my sight seeing for the next day.

I decided to change my accommodation to the place that I would need to meet for my tour the following day. Athenstyle is so close to Mastrimaki square, so it made everything easier. Once I got there, I wanted to get a city map to get my bearings, but the hostel had run out. Instead I decided to get the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus around town. I’m so glad that I did because it made it easier for me to figure out where everything was. I also enjoyed the commentary and learning about the city’s history. I feel that it was €22 well spent.

I was able to visit the Acropolis and see some other sights around town. I did forget to put sunscreen on though, so I got a little red climbing up to see the Acropolis.

The Acropolis up close

Later that day I made a new friend, Becca, at the hostel, and we went for a walk around town. We were in search of free wifi, so we walked up the Sygnamata Square where there is free wifi (why don’t more places do this in their city squares? Or have I only just figured this out?). We then walked around the town, passing through Athens Flea Market, and the strip of restaurants that sit behind it.

We had dinner at Athenstyle rooftop bar, as we had a pre-tour meet that night. We both chose the moussaka for €10. However, since eating moussaka everywhere around Greece, I think this may be a tad expensive, especially as this is from a hostel…

Me posing for a photo from the balcony of Athenstyle Hostel

But back to Athens. Now I wish I had figured out the metro system earlier. It would have saved me a lot of walking. But I suppose it was good exercise 😉

If I were to do athens again, then I think I should set a strategy about what to see and when. This is what I would do:

  1. Find accommodation near Mastrimaki or Sygnamata Squares. They both have metro stations so it makes life easier being near there.
  2. Get a city map and metro map before getting into the city. Figure out points if interest beforehand.
  3. Get a sightseeing bus ticket. Yes, it’s touristy, but it saves the hassle of figuring everything out plus you get some history on each place.
  4. Visit the Acropolis early morning. It gets hot up there. Also wear sunscreen.
  5. Go to some of the other attractions like Hadrians Arch. A lot of the attractions are nice places to have a picnic at.
  6. Speaking of picnic, grab some fresh food from one of the stalls in Mastrimaki square.
  7. Go shopping in the flea markets.
  8. After shopping, rest and have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants behind the flea markets.
  9. Watch the show of people playing drums in Mastrimaki square. Grab an icecream from the shops surrounding this area. BUT a word of caution – be wary of pick pockets in this square!
  10. Walk from Mastrimaki square to Sygnamata Square. When walking up this way you will come across many shops from H&M & Zara to smaller little clothes shops and souvenir shops.
  11. Rest and have a drink at Sygnamata square. There’s Starbucks and Everest for coffee lovers, or there’s also some bars near by as well.

I’m fairly certain you could even complete all of this in one or two days. Many shops do not close until late, often staying open until 10pm or even later. It is also perfectly acceptable to have dinner at 10.30pm at night. But if you have more time, don’t rush and just enjoy the sights. I only had one full day. But it’s all I felt I needed and frankly, all I wanted. I am always willing to give a place a second chance, so if I were to go again, I would do all of this and see if I enjoyed it more.

Mastrimaki Square at night

Mastrimaki Square at night

Should I Pack My Jeans?

Rosie_Travel_Wardrobe2

Ahhh… the age old question about whether one should pack jeans for travel. When I see pictures of celebs arriving at the airport in their favourite denim threads, I think, “Yeah sure, definitely, I’ll look like celebrity if I bring my jeans”. But maybe I should look at the practicalities first…

There are a zillion articles and blog posts that say you should not pack jeans when travelling. The reasons for this include:

  • Weight: Jeans are heavier than other items, thus making your backpack or suitcase heavier and harder to carry. Imagine your train about to leave the station, and you’re late, so you need to run for it, and your backpack is starting to hurt your back… that extra weight difference could make you miss or make your train…
  • Laundry: They are harder to clean and take a long time to dry. You might opt to find a laundromat, but this can be expensive and they may not be easy to find. So your other option is to hand wash them in the sink at your place of accommodation… What are you going to do if they still haven’t dried after a day and you need to move on? Chuck damp jeans into your suitcase? Wear the damp jeans? Throw them into a plastic bag and crinkle them?
  • Bulk: They tend to be bulkier than other items so they take up more room in your suitcase. If you’re trying to pack light and have a small suitcase, this extra room will make a big difference
  • Heat: Jeans are just not appropriate for warm climates as they make you feel ridiculously hot, or they can be very cold against your skin when travelling to a cooler climate, making it harder to stay warm.
  • Travel pants are the best alternative: they are lightweight, versatile, and durable, so you wont even miss your jeans.

Jeans-vs-Travel-Pants

These seem to be the main reasons why not to pack jeans… BUT if you’re like me, you will be on the ‘Pro side’ of taking jeans. Here’s why:

  • Style: well duh. The most important reason is wanting to look stylish on your trip. 😉
  • Versatile: Jeans can be worn casually or dressy, during the day or at night, for sightseeing or dinners or travel days… the list goes on.
  • Durability: they are tough and durable enough to last an extended trip, and still come home looking fab.
  • Pockets: not all pants have these, and you may just need that pocket (although you would need to be careful of pickpocketers).
  • Comfort: Most people find jeans to be comfy and this is important when travelling. You might need to sleep on a train, or you might need to be in them all day until you finish sightseeing. Well, not all jeans are comfy, but the ones you bring with you for travel generally are…
  • Weight: they really don’t weigh that much. Their weight will probably not make that much difference to your luggage, and if so, wear them when travelling in between destinations. Problem solved!
  • They don’t need regular washing: You wont need to clean them as regularly as your other clothes. If you have a dark wash, then chances are you wont even notice if they are dirty for a little while.

I will be bringing my jeans with me, no doubt about it. I brought two pairs of jeans with me to Geneva in winter and it was the best thing I did – I lived in them for the month! I often wore thermals underneath and they looks great with boots. And honestly – they weren’t that hard to clean or dry… just make sure you hang them over a chair or something similar and that they get some airflow so they dry properly. I hung mine in the bathroom and they still dried relatively quickly.

Now that I’m about to embark on a trip to Europe, the question has come up again – should I bring my jeans? Well there’s some things that I need to consider for myself personally:

  • I’m bringing a suitcase, not a backpack. So the extra few grams my jeans weigh will not affect my ability to pull my suitcase along. There’s also plenty of room in there for the jeans to be packed.
  • Jeans are my go-to clothing item. When all else fails, I wear jeans. This is because they are versitile and go with plenty of items in my wardrobe.
  • I know I will wear them because I love them. There’s no point bringing something you don’t like or wont wear. Obviously, if you’re not a jeans person, then don’t bring them.
  • I have worn them in and they fit perfectly. Nothings worse than bringing something you just bought and then finding out it doesn’t fit so well or there’s an annoying quirk about it.
  • I don’t own travel pants. I’m not going to buy them either.  And I don’t have the money for them. Plus I don’t really like them anyway…
  • Jeans will be suited to my activities – shopping, sightseeing, nights out, travel days etc.
  • I’ll be travelling to and from multiple climates. Although I may not wear them for every day, I’m sure I’ll wear them for particular days and locations.
  • I can always take jeggings instead. If I’m worried about any of the cons about taking jeans, jeggings are the perfect alternative – they are lighter and less bulky than jeans, dry quicker, and come in a heap of styles and colours.

trav_fproof1

So to sum up, if you are deciding whether you should pack your jeans, ask the following questions:

  1. What is the whether like at my destination? Hot/Cold? Summer/Winter? Multiple climates?
  2. What activities will I be doing? Shopping? Sightseeing? Hiking? Swimming?
  3. Are they jeans you wear all the time? Are they old or new? Do they go with other items in your wardrobe?
  4. How will you wash them? Are you willing to hand wash if there’s no laundromat near your accommodation? If it’s a shorter trip, will you even bother washing them?
  5. Is backpack/suitcase weight a factor for you? 
  6. Would you prefer another alternative like travel pants or jeggings?

After asking those questions you should have a better idea about whether you should pack your jeans.

I hope that helps people in their decision about whether they should pack their jeans. It has certainly supported my original idea about bringing them, and now I know that (for me personally) packing my jeans is a great idea!

Vintage Barbie signature

 

 

Why am I doing this blog?

After writing my first post, I started thinking to myself “why exactly do I want to start a blog”. At first it seemed obvious – I want to write about travel. But what about when I’m not travelling? And what keeps me busy inbetween my adventures? So I started thinking of some more reasons behind why I want to write this blog, and what my readers could expect to see me write about.

1. Travel

When planning your travels you will often stumble upon travel blogs to inspire and guide you with your plans. I felt so inspired by other blogs such as Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site and Adventurous Kate, that I decided I wanted to do something similar and share my experiences whilst the world. (I have to note that I’m not expecting to have a fan base like these amazing bloggers, or to be able to write as well as either of them, but I am certainly inspired to write in the same blogging category…)

I know that I don’t have much experience in this thing. I did participate in the “Big Blogger” competition in High School, and it was pretty cool to share my experiences. (However I did learn first hand about trolls, which was not very good for my self esteem…) But that was 8 years ago and a lot has changed since then…

At 25, I want to connect with like minded people – the people filled with wanderlust, the fashion-savvy traveler, the travelling photographers, the people who mingle with locals and get a real glimpse of what a country is like…I also hope that my experiences could help other travelers, whether novice or experienced, and that my stories will be enriching and entertaining to those who read them.

To move, to breath, to fly, to float,

To gain all while you give

To roam the roads of lands remote:

To travel is to live.

So, primarily I thought that this blog would be a great way to keep connected with my friends and family back home when travelling, as well as sharing my own little tips and tricks. But whilst travel is a passion of mine (and is taking up a major part of my life for the time being) it is not my only passion…

2. Food

I thoroughly enjoy cooking. I find it relaxing… well, minus the cleaning part! I love cooking for my friends and family and I am notorious for sharing my food creations on social media – when you have beautiful food, why not show it off? So I asked myself, why not share some of my favourite recipes? After all, I often have people ask me how I make the delicious dishes seen on my Instagram account.

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Out for Dinner at Hotel Edelweiss in Geneva, Switzerland

 

I also enjoy eating out and trying new places for whatever occasion it is. I find that talking about cafes and restaurants is often a hot topic among friends and family, so I should probably share those experiences with my readers. I should note that I am no food critic, nor do I profess to be one. I just simply like love food. If I have a delicious meal in a nice environment and have great customer service, then I would definitely like to share this experience with other potential diners.

3. Fashion & Makeup

Another aspect of my life that I would love to share with others is my keen interest and love of all things relating to fashion and makeup. I definitely love to share all things relating to my style on Instagram. Working in my favourite clothing store, I am always excited to style people and also buy fabulous new items for myself. I love creating a “look” with my abundance of makeup and clothes, and I often have compliments on my sense of style. Sharing my own tips and tricks relating to how to do certain makeup looks or hairstyles, sharing my tips for packing and looking fashionable on the road, and sharing my own style tips are things I definitely would like to have on this blog.

4. DIY

To keep myself busy I often do little DIY projects. Some days I may turn a tired dress into something fabulous, other days I may create a gorgeous and funky accessory from scratch. I’ve also thought up some nifty ways to become more organised around the home, in particular – trying to organise my enormous closet! I hope that I can inspire and help others in their DIY projects as well.

5. Sharing my Stories

Of course, I hope to share some of my experiences and adventures with everyone. Some of these may be serious and some may be some of my more ditzy moments. And on the plus side, keeping myself busy with this blog will hopefully keep me out of ‘trouble’ … in other words, it will stop me spending my money on partying and shopping when I need to be saving for my trip!

Fashion in the Street - Photo by Brian Miller

Fashion in the Street – Photo by Brian Miller

So in a nutshell, this blog will portray my life, through travel, food, style and DIY projects. … and I’ll throw in some interesting stories and occasionally my blonde moments!

 

Stay tuned for more to come 🙂

Vintage Barbie XO