T is for Travelling

I love travelling and seeing new places. For me, the holiday does indeed start in the airport – probably because I buy at least two books every time I’m in Duty Free! I like crossing off another country off my bucket list, or visiting a famous city. I’m not a fan of lying on the beach so I love holidays where I’m seeing new places, going to museums and getting the culture of a place.

I’ve been lucky enough to have visited a fair few countries over the years thanks to family holidays and school trips. I went to Moscow and Saint Petersburg when I was in college on a History trip, I went to Dubai over ten years ago as we had family friends living out there and the south of Spain is my home-from-home as my dad has lived there for fifteen years.

Recently I’ve come to love the idea of long weekends away, just three nights in a city and cram everything I want to see and do in that time. I’ve done that in Budapest and Prague with friends and the other weekend I was in Oxford for a friend’s wedding and then stayed a few days to see the city. My next few days away is going to be in May when I’m visiting a friend studying in the Netherlands. I think that’s where I’ve been lucky so far, I’ve had a lot of friends and family living around the world, or friends who also like travelling on a budget, so it’s not been too much of a hit on my bank balance any time I’ve been bitten by the travel bug.

I love to travel but it is always nice to come home to my own bed.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Goals I Have For 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. It’s the start of a new year! How 2015 has flown by! Now I’m not always the greatest at making and sticking with my resolutions, I think I managed to keep half of my resolutions last year, so let’s see what happens in 2016.

Continue to post at least once a week.
This year I’ve been doing really well with my blog and have posted at least once every week and, when it comes to what I’m posting, that leads me on to my next resolution…

Post at least one review a week.
Now I have been doing this and generally I’ve set it up that on Monday’s there’s a film review and on Thursday’s there’s a book review. If I read/watch a lot there’s sometimes extra reviews not on those dates but I’d like to try and stick to that schedule as long as I’m still reading and watching stuff that I have enough feelings about that I then want to review it.

Continue to read diversely.
In 2015 I did pretty well in reading a whole range of genres and the the authors I read was pretty much a 50/50 split between men and women, with slightly more female author. I’d like to continue doing that and make a conscious effort to read books from authors of colour. You can check out a summary of my reading in 2015 here. (more…)

New York or Somewhere Different?

For my 21st birthday a few years ago, me and my mum went to New York for five days – I instantly fell in love with the city, my mum enjoyed herself way more than she thought she would (she’s not a big city kind of person) and we did loads of touristy things and saw a lot of shows.

This year my mum’s reaching a birthday milestone (I won’t say which because I’m nice like that) so she suggested we could go to New York again and do new things and the stuff we missed last time. So we’ve been looking at hotel prices and flights and that sort of thing when she said “Why go back to somewhere we’ve already been? We should try somewhere new.”

So now we’re thinking about other places in America we could go for a long weekend. So far we’re looking at Washington DC and San Francisco but more ideas would be welcome.

What city should we go to in the USA for 5 days and what should we do there? Big up your hometowns, give me your travel tips – I’m really liking this plan to explore somewhere new.

UPDATE: My mother has now suggested we stay in the UK and instead go spend a long weekend in a spa hotel and have epic chill time. So there’s now that idea to think about too. Dammnit mother! Stop having so many ideas!

Fernweh (n.) An ache for distant places; the craving for travel.

I am so very tempted to book myself a little weekend city break abroad. I’m not sure if it’s a bit of the New Year’s blues, or if I’m just looking for that next adventure but it’s something I am seriously considering.

I have figured out that the beginning of March would be good for me as I have no deadlines till the end of the month so three days away would hardly make me fall behind. Plus the way my Uni timetable works I’m generally free Saturday’s through to Wednesday’s.

I blame the fact that I live so close to Heathrow airport during term time and the British Airways adverts I saw all over Christmas. But I have been doing some research and have found that three days in Madrid would cost me around £160 for both flights and hotel, which sounds great to me. I’m that sort of traveller that doesn’t really care too much about the sort of place I stay at – as long as it has a bed and a shower I am quite happy. I’ll be out seeing the sights and exploring rather than spending time shut up in my room.

The reason why I’m looking at Madrid, or anywhere in Spain really, is that I have a basic understanding of the language. When I say basic – I do mean basic! I may have done Spanish for my A-Levels but I was never that great at the writing part of the exam but when it came to speaking I did do fairly well. After visiting my dad in Spain at least once a year for over ten years I do seem to pick it up easy every time I go out there and know enough to make myself understood even if it isn’t grammatically correct.

I just feel very bad when I go to a foreign country and can’t even try to speak their language. I feel like the stereotypical arrogant Englishman – not bothering to learn any other language because English is universal. While that is true I do at least want to be able to try.

So me and my basic Spanish skills may be going to Madrid for a few days. I’ve never been to Madrid before and some part of me would like to one day be able to say that I have been to every capital city in the world – or at least in Europe.