How to survive a long haul journey – Travelling to Australia my story

Excitement is in the air, we are heading to Australia, not just for a week no, we are going for a whole month! Yay!

Addio England! Ciao UK! Aloha to you! Until we are back naturally.

Travel, Australia, camper, vacation, holiday, backpacking, long haul, flying, Emirates, beach

This has been planned for a while, but due to my boyfriends work commitments we had to keep putting our plans on hold and hope he could get the time off when requested, luckily he did. Packing was relatively easy, after all how many clothes does one really need when the weather is going to be unavoidably hot?

I always prefer packing for a hot destination as summer clothes do not take up too much room which means I can pack a few more dresses. Have you ever packed for a month? Or longer? I have, and let me say it gets easier. You learn that those 10 different shorts are not needed, in fact you will probably only wear two of them but pack them all just in case. After all it is better to be safe than sorry. Deciding to take a holdall instead of a wheely suitcase, I preceded to cram (roll) all my beautiful summer clothes consisting predominately of playsuits and bikinis into my bag. Basically all the clothes I will never, ever get to wear in the UK because even during their summer time, weather is never consistent. Thinking about it, the only consistent things about the UK’s weather is that it is inconsistent. Yes, the morning may start of with glorious sunshine, birds chirping from a nearby tree, sky so blue you think you are looking at a swimming pool upside down but scroll forward two hours, you will be left sitting in a puddle, on your own in your carefully selected strappy dress wishing you had bought an umbrella and wellies. How delightful!

I thought I did a great job of packing by hurriedly rolling out my clothes, after all why waste time packing? That was until Sean took one look at it and decided he had to re-pack as I ‘could fit way more in if I packed it right’. I am sure that boy has extremely mild OCD and some sort of methodical way of thinking regarding packing, draws and wardrobe arrangement. Baring in mind it took approximately half an hour to pack my selected clothes into my bag, guess what he did? He emptied my bag, started to roll my clothes just as I had done then put them all back into the bag. Admittedly he did a much better job than me which is why I have promoted him to ‘Chief Packer’. A polite way of saying that when we next go away, he can do the packing.

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Deciding who to fly with had been a bit of a concern. How can one possibly choose which airline to go with? Quantas, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, British Airways are all good airlines, they offer different benefits and prices fluctuate so I decided to check out the prices on Skyscanner and see which offered good deals. Needless to say, we did not want to go with the cheapest airline due to this flight a most definite ‘long-haul’, for a more pleasant flight I was happy to pay a little extra. My research tactics were probably a bit far fetched to some people, but I felt they were necessary due to Sean being 6’2, come on, he was hardly going to enjoy being squashed into a seat fit for a small child for over 12 hours was he? I have flown this far before, but Sean had not, let’s just say he was not looking forward to it at all! I thought I’d do my bit to make sure we would hopefully have a comfortable flight, which meant researching the seat measurements of each airline (such fun). I found out that Emirates had the biggest seats out of all the airlines I looked at, they offered a good service and were known for being a good company, we chose them.

I thoroughly recommend researching and looking around at all airline carriers before booking, you may get a great price but it will not be a great flight. In my opinion you are better off spending that little bit extra if you can for comfort

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Pulling up at the airport, there is a familiar sense of bustling, a touch of nerves from some people and a lot of noise. I really enjoy airports, could this be because it take some back to family holidays as a child? Or the fact that I used to work at Heathrow Airport and enjoyed that? Perhaps both. There is so much activity going on, parents  trying to bring some order to their children hoping that they stop swinging around on the trollies, airline staff pacing the marbled floor, bright artificial lights glaring down on you. In the midst of this hustle and bustle of flying, there is me. The girl who keeps putting her passport and boarding card back into the depths of her Mary Poppins bag just to be asked for it multiple times, then thinks she’s lost it, needless to say there was a lot of rifling and sighing.

Standing in the boarding lounge (I refuse to sit as will be spending the next 20hours sitting, okay apart from the layover in Dubai which is a quick 1hr45m). Looking around at the sheer volume of people who will be joining us on the journey, are they really all on this plane? Surely some of them have the wrong gate and are just standing here for the fun of it? The plane taking us to Dubai is an Airbus A380 and absolutely enormous, you cannot believe all these people will fit into it! Oh so there is the flying planet disguised as a plane, yes we will all fit! It still amazes me how this thing takes off so smoothly and quietly, I am used to the great rumble and roar of the engines once it starts, then throughout the whole flight it continues to rumble so loud that you can hear it through the bendy thin headphones the cabin crew give you. Let me tell you, this flight was a dream. It was smooth, mood lighting was in place ( for the record I do love pastel coloured lighting and have a thing for stars on the ceiling – they had tiny pin pricks of light on the cabin ceiling bliss ) we chose our seats prior to departure but I asked the check in agents if there were emergency exit seats free, which there were.

For emergency exit seats, the trick is to ask at check in. They are never released when you pick your seat online because you have to be fit in case of an emergency and the staff need to verify and see that you are. They normally pick people to go in them while checking the passengers in, go ask, you may be moved into one

Australia, signs, Tropic of Capricorn, flying, travel, blog, west coast, love, Emirates, long haul, beachI always change what I am wearing in the plane, from smart casual clothes (upgrade anyone?) to lounge clothes. Mainly because I like to be as comfortable as possible. While it’s tempting to change into pyjamas, unfortunately it would not be socially acceptable based on the fact that too many people would look at me and I cannot deal with that much negative attention. My go to travel outfit consists of fleece leggings, loose top, with a warm pull over as planes can get chilly. Settling in, we have a huge amount of room in front of our seats, all the leg room one could possibly want (perhaps a bit too much as I kept sliding forward throughout the duration from LHR to DXB) The cabin crew came round with freshen up bags, I love getting these! Excitedly clawing at that very annoying white plastic tag always wrapped around the zip, I delve into the bag to see what I can possibly use to make the journey more fresh. Oh yes there they are, the socks I have been looking forward to wearing. While I will not win a fashion parade wearing these cotton socks, did you know they are the best type for your feet while traveling? Small things and all!

The food was quite nice, to be honest I don’t tend to eat much on the plane apart from the snacks I bring. I would rather not feel bloated and very full for the entire journey. I have developed a routine which applies to flights lasting over 6 hours to brush my teeth before, during and after the flight. I find it helps me to freshen up, wake up and not feel so groggy. Plus, would you not brush your teeth before going to sleep? Do you wake up without brushing your teeth? Just because you are in a plane does that change things?

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Now would I be a complete sucker if I said I have an airplane in flight routine? Yes you read right, looking back at it, I do have an airplane flying routine! Perhaps I should do a complete post on exactly what I do while travelling, but the basics are to purchase a bottle of water after security. Brush teeth before or at the very start of the flight. Accept water when offered by cabin crew at All times, even when not thirsty or half asleep, drink it! Although something from Women’s Health said you should not drink water from the plane, I did not read anymore of that article as think all water is good water providing it is clear! Always give the cabin I am in a quick scan, checking for children or babies that have the potential to make this flight a living nightmare (luckily there were none, well, apart from one small boy who kept staring at me for half the flight, but hey I can deal with that)  I also adjust my watch. Okay, I don’t wear a watch but I adjust my body clock and my brain to think it’s the time in the destination. Roll the clock forward 8 hours as that is currently the time difference, this actually helps with jet lag. Is jet lag really a thing? Or is it mostly in our mind? Whichever is true, it’s important to do everything you can to put off and hopefully avoid getting the dreaded jet lag, including changing your time clock and drinking a lot of water. Not alcohol, coffee or juice, just pure water.

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You want to have something that will hydrate you, not dehydrate you. Having coffee, tea (non herbal) or alcohol will increase your bodies dehydration (thankyou caffeine) you will not feel the best when you disembark the plane

Now back to the all important checking what they offer. This includes staring at the menu trying to pick whether I want the beef of chicken curry ( is there a fish dish?) Movie selection is another important factor of this flying experience. After all, realistically I will watch almost every movie I like the look of from the magazine so they better be good. It has to be said, I am thrilled with the selection that Emirates Ice have on offer, oh yes this will be a good flight.

Sean is settled into his middle seat, I really like looking out of the window (you know that dog who loves to put his face out of every open window? me too!) There is enough room for a 6’2 grown man to sit in a middle seat comfortably, so much so that he even sat in that seat on the second half of the flight (my research paid off). Flying with someone you know is always nice. I have flown many times alone and while I am happy to immerse myself in the movies and sleep time away, it is nice to know that someone you know is enduring the same ridiculously long flight too. No, I’m just kidding, it is nice to have someone to talk to, to tell them the funny bits in the movies ( I am sure he had no interest in my chick flick, but he did a remarkable job of appearing interested and not looking too shocked when I laughed out loud at funny scenes. That is is why I love him) Is it just me, or do you also look around at other people to see their reactions or purely just to see what they are watching?

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I enjoy flying, the excitement of stepping onto a plane in one country then stepping off that same plane in another. It holds the anticipation of an adventure and seeking out new ways to explore and see the country. There are a few things that can be done to make your flight more comfortable, but in the end, we are all flying in a very large aluminium tube which does a good job of staying up in the air. So let’s make the most of this flight by settling in, and rather than focus on the duration, focus on what you want to get done during that flight. Read a book? Look through pictures, playing with your camera are all things I like to incorporate into my flying experience. I was once told to look at the flight as the start ofyour ravel or holiday experience. It doesn’t start the minute you touchdown, make it start from when you go to the airport and enjoy it, after all, you are lucky.

Flying, Australia, travel, blog, photographer, beach, holiday, vacation, emiratesFlying is a privilege, it is taken for granted because just like a lot of things we ‘millenials’ have, it is easily purchased, easy to book and easy to go. Travelling to different countries, cultures a world apart from our own western culture makes me think that although we may have a lot of opportunity to travel and to see how big our world really is, not everyone has that opportunity. I know some people who have never been to a country different from their home country, some go to Benidorm every year where they mix with the same English people that go there every year too. Some only take trips within the UK, now I have looked into holidays within U.K and they are not in any means cheap. In fact, it can work out more expensive to take a weeks holiday in Scotland than go for two weeks to Thailand! There are people within the  countries I have visited that would relish the chance to visit another country, it is something they will only dream about. Yet us, we have that opportunity to really live in this beautiful world, to see what it has to offer and we live in a time where boarding a ship bound for Australia but will take half a year to get there is unheard of, because it is possible to fly to these places, and we can. The world is here to be explored, why would you want to spend your life in one country wondering what it may be like in another? Take this freedom and opportunity and turn it into something that you will benefit from, so that in 10 years time you can say ‘I always wanted to visit here, and I did’.

Bon voyage

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Top 5 things to pack for a trip abroad

Whether you are going away for a week or a year, travelling or backpacking, we all need to pack. Sometimes I think we take more items than we really need, come on, do you really need that cute summer dress when going to Iceland in December? Now I have not included the usual, typically sunglasses, sunscreen, underwear, because being the kind of person you are, I doubt I need to remind you of such things. Let’s just say these are some ideas you may want to consider packing for any future trips:

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Hand luggage Snacks – Yes, I know the plane gives you food and sometimes it is very nice but other times I have turned down the stodgy laden trays for something lighter. Whilst sitting in the aeroplane how hungry can one get? Sometimes we tend to eat because of boredom but having a few snacks with you can help curb that. I always bring with me a handful of green tea bags in a ziplock bag, fruit and nut mix, beef jerky, granola bars, pringles (undoubtedly the best go to abroad snack) and chocolate. It’s so nice to have something to snack on that you actually like rather then forcing down food you wouldn’t nesessarily eat. Plus, if the plane gets delayed you wont need to buy the over priced food in the airport

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Bring a water bottle with you – Did you know dehydration is the number one cause of jet lag? This is because many people rely on the inflight drinks that come around not very often. Even at that, most people tend to choose alcohol and juice over water. When you have a bottle of water with you, whether is is bought in duty free (after security) or a bottle from home, it gives you a conscious reminder that the water is there to be drunk. You can always ask the cabin crew for a refill or with Emirates they have refill stations near the toilets. Trust me your skin will say thankyou!

Paracetamol and funny tummy tablets Paracetamol is always handy to have wherever you go. It can and will help that headache planning to ruin your day! If you are like me and love to tuck into the street food in Thailand, Morocco and all those weird and wonderful places then these could be very beneficial to you.
Travel, Rottnest island, fly, holiday, AustraliaBackpack/Rucksack – So, you have found a lovely place to head to for the day. How about a bit of walking, perhaps heading off to the beach, taking photos, maybe a swim?  Just one problem, where do you put all your gear? Camera, water, towel, sunscreen? The answer is to take a rucksack or backpack! This way you will always have something to put your belongings into and it just pops on your back for easy lifting.

Microfibre Towel – I always pack this towel, usually in my hold luggage but perhaps should take it in my hand luggage, thoughts on this? Originally I bought this for my boyfriend who goes away quite a bit and could do with a small towel especilaly for the gym, then I realised I could do with this towel too! It is quick drying, ultra absorbent and takes up oh so very little space in your luggage! Okay you wouldn’t want to lay it down as a beach towel but it is a smart thing to have! This is one similar to what I have: Ultimate towel
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‘Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show’

I hope this has given you some food for thought on what to take, what items do you pack in your luggage when travelling abroad?

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How to travel Western Australia in a campervan - Part 2 Roadtrip

You may have read my previous blog covering the beginning of our roadtrip from Perth to Kalbarri, if not you may want to check it out as contains valuable tips you need to know!

How to travel Western Australia in a campervan - Part 2 Roadtrip. GoneGlobelle. Coral Bay

Most National Park Fees-$12 per vehicle

4WD – Highly recommended

Water – Gallons

Sunnies -Are you kidding?

How to travel Western Australia in a campervan - Part 2 Roadtrip, travel, blogger, Kalbarri , GoneGlobelle

Kalbarri – Hamelin Pool – Denham Shark Bay World Heritage Area 377km – approx 4 hours drive

Oh its hot, after pulling over to cook up some lunch, silly me decided to get out to throw something in the bin, talk about a mistake! The flies will chase you all the way back to the van and because they are small enough to get inside your van, will continue to buzz around your face so you have no choice but to get the van moving whilst rolling down the windows in a hasty bid to evacuate them from your vehicle (it would help if the vehicle in question went faster then 10 mph from stationary)  Let’s just say my fly net was not just used outside. That’s right, I wore it in the van too!

Please ensure you have enough water if you are planning on heading into the national parks. Drinking water is not available here so it is Vital you have enough to see you through (take 3 litres per person per day) Load up that sunscreen or you will cook!

Kalbarri National Park is enormous and although we spent all day here, I still think we only managed to see a small part of it, but boy was it worth it! The views are every photographers dream from towering colourful sandstone cliffs rising from the ocean to spectacular river gorges, complete with the kind of heat that would coax even the shyest of lizards out to bask. You can go hiking here but we decided not to, choosing to drive to the scenic places, wander around and admire in awe, just the sheer landscape is spellbounding! I cannot describe it to you, you have to go there! We visited Mushroom Rock, The Loop and a few smaller viewing spots. The park does have clear signs for lookout points, although it may seem like you are driving for a long time down one road, there is a stopping point eventually. One thing I will say is not having a 4WD did prevent us from going to some of the points I really wanted to visit, Francois Peron National Park, Natures Loop to name a couple. This also was apparent during other times in our trip as some of the roads were definitely not made for our trusty camper. Let’s get this show on the road.

How to travel Western Australia in a campervan - Part 2 Roadtrip. Travel, blogger, roadhouse

Stopping off at Billabong Roadhouse for some fuel (if you are hungry they actually do some nice wraps and sandwiches) It makes me feel as if you could be in a movie, you know the ones where roadtrains are roaring past, there is nothing else but vast desert-like landscape and a strange looking man puffing away on a cigar, oh and a rocking chair out front. 

A quick look at Hamelin Pool, where you will find the worlds most diverse population of Stromatolites. 

If you have had enough of driving, why not stay the night at Nanga Bay Resort it has a Natural hot artesian spa!

How to travel Western Australia in a campervan - Part 2 Roadtrip, travel, blogger, Ningaloo reef
We have now reached Shark Bay World Heritage Area, with its very own sign which I was excited to see. You see, when you have been on the road for a very long time endlessly peering out the window for a glimpse of the mysterious kangaroo  (but see none) little things like signs become very exciting, the main reason being that a sign means you are closer to your destination! 

Denham is the first point of the fantastic Ningaloo Reef. Whilst there is not much happening in Denham itself, it’s a good place to stop off before heading further up north. We also found that in order to view some of the ‘must-see’ points, you will definitely be driving out of your way for them, but it really is worth it. 

How to travel Western Australia in a campervan - Part 2 Roadtrip, travel, blogger, coral bayStopping off at Shell Beach was something I had never encountered before. There was no sand, the beach was made up of millions of tiny shells which go down about 8metres deep. It was very bright, if the suns out put on your shades! Red Bluff had a nice viewing point, as red as you’d expect, quite similar to Kalbarri. Spending the night in a local holiday park, we got up early enough to drive to Monkey Mia just in time for the dolphins, didn’t think we were going to make it! To get into the reserve for the dolphins, its odd how small this place it. Yes the land is big, but Monkey Mia itself has no more than a visitors centre,somewhere to eat,a small shack which charges you to enter and a strip of beach. The highlight was the dolphins, yes the beach is beautiful but so are All the beaches on the west coast of Australia. What made this beach different? It was the marine biologists who study the dolphins and feed them 3 times per day (AM) they are strict with their food policy as do not want them becoming tame. We stood in a line in the water and strained our ears trying to listen to what the lady was saying (the dolphins were very close, I was distracted and it was windy) then a few people who had buckets of fish for the dolphins came out and picked out people from the line to feed the dolphins, I was lucky enough to be picked. Some people may think it’s too touristy but hey, it’s good they are studying the dolphins and restricting their feeding habits from humans. 

Now we have to drive All the way back down to Denham as we are still heading up north

How to travel Western Australia in a campervan - Part 2 Roadtrip, travel, blogger, Monkey Mia, dolphinHow to travel Western Australia in a campervan - Part 2 Roadtrip. Travel. Blogger. Monkey Mia. DolphinHow to travel Western Australia in a campervan - Part 2 Roadtrip, travel, blogger, monkey Mia, dolphin

Have you ever seen a natural blowhole? Want to see one? Head to a place called  Quobba, quite a way out of your way but if your interested…

Denham – Carnavon – Exmouth  682 km – approx 7hrs

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I bought a snorkel set from Amazon – best idea ever! That way because there are so many places to stop off and snorkel, you never have to hunt for one to rent and why do that when you can have your own!

How to roadtrip in Australia, noodles

On the road again! I do feel like I have never left the road. We could have stayed in Denham but honestly, I just want to get to Turquoise Bay! In case you were wondering what we get up to during the evening, we cook a meal as eating out is very expensive and what’s the point of having a hob in the camper if you are not going to use it? The internet signal is not good at all, many holiday camps offer free wifi but they will only work if you are in the main office kitchen. After the meal we get the bed ready, shower (which are surprisingly clean, so are the toilets) relax with a book in one hand and pack of biscuits in the other (Tim Tams if we are being specific, or my Absolute favourite the fake Tim Tams but much better in my opinion from Aldi) 

Driving through Carnavon I begin to realise that I’m getting used to how vast Australia is. That seeing millions of acres sprawled out as far as the eye can see is becoming quite the norm! Carnavon is known for its plantations, if you are looking for a really good place to take some gifts of jam, dried fruit then head to BumBaks by taking the South River Road.
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If you find yourself in Carnavon between May – October on a Saturday, check out their morning market in which the plantation owners bring their produce to the town centre! 

Now it’s time to rest Enough driving for Sean and enough passenger driving for me. Has anyone seen a kangaroo yet? I’ve spent the past 5 hours scouring the earth for them!

Woohoo! Get the snorkels out, and camera, sunscreen, oh did you bring towels too? We have decided to drive past Coral Bay and head up to Exmouth, after a lot of umming and ahhing about whether we should make the journey up to Exmouth. Why not? This is mainly to visit Cape Range National Park, Turquoise Bay and to visit the lookout points around Exmouth, although it certainly is a great place to swim with whales sharks or manta rays if its the right season.
The views are beautiful, deep blue river gorges on the backdrop of huge canyon walls, I can’t believe my camera battery has lasted this long! Our favourite lunch is quick cook noodles and tuna or peanut butter sandwich, quick, easy and convenient. Dinner tends to be some sort of pasta dish with a pasta sauce and canned tuna mixed in or spaghetti bolognese. After exploring Cape Range it’s a good time to turn in for the night and anticipate what tomorrow will hold. 

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Turqoise Bay is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Western Australia and a snorkellers paradise

After getting up a lot earlier then previous mornings, part excitement, part because I heard that in order to see Turquoise Bay at its finest, the best time to get there is just before 8am before the toursists show up! Driving there is beautiful, something about travelling along the coast line when it’s really hot that makes me want to reach up to the sky stretching  my body as far from the seat till almost standing (okay not safe) and shout ‘Woohoo’ with a huge smile on my face, but being in a camper van did not allow me to do such things, so instead I click away with my camera (which is always very near to hand) and serenade Sean loudly using Britney Spears as my back up vocalist who I have blasting out of my iPod (unlucky Sean, don’t you wish you had downloaded your songs to the iPod?)

How to travel Western Australia in a campervan Roadtrip, travel, blog

Pulling up it’s a quite nice to know we are the first people here, okay not ever, but the first of this beautiful day. I can’t wait for Sean to try to clean his sunglasses then get the bags, I want to see it now! Leaving him in the van I run off and can honestly say I am absolutely entranced at the sight of this vivid bluey green water, so clear that I am sure I can see fish swimming around (Ningaloo Reef is known to have the closest Coral Reef in the world) the soft snowy sand, it really is something! Sean has joined me, minus the bags because I think he was just as excited to see the beach, after all this is the snorkelling destination to come to! Bikini time! We go for a little walk and photo opportunity for a while, then much to our disappointment, find that another couple have arrived, slowly more people trickle into the bay. Before they scare away the fish by snorkelling, we head into the water.

How to travel roadtrip Australia, blog, coral bay Turquoise Bay has a drift snorkel which is perfect if you get a bit lazy! It is a bit cold, only at first until you start swimming and warm up, plus the fish and reef does not disappoint! We are treated to an array of colours, from the coral reef to electric blue darts, very large black fish, parrot fish, and they are incredibly close! Okay, I did have a couple thoughts on what one would do if one encountered a shark but you know what, we cannot live in fear of something, otherwise we would never get out of the house! I’m not sure what I’d do, to be honest I though at one point Sean had definitely been taken by something. He had swum so far out, I couldn’t see him for a good 10minutes, I even got out of the water to try to see if I could see him from the shore. That was a very scary moment when the realisation that we are actually swimming in shark infested waters, not only that, but the fact shark attacks have and do happen quite often in Western Australia. Luckily he hadn’t been taken, just got so carried away with following a very colourful fish around that he hadn’t realised that the fish was trying to lure him away from the shore to turn him into prey for the Great Whites.

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Shattered from the days adventure, tomorrow Coral Bay awaits.

How to travel roadtrip Australia, blogger, coral bay
Coral Bay is very scenic and a lot more touristy then previous beaches. Yes it is beautiful, we did some snorkelling and saw many fish, although not quite as much as yesterday’s snorkelling session

How to travel Australia, roadtrip, blogger, coral bay

It started getting a little busy so we took that opportunity to explore Skeleton Beach which is about an half hour walk (take into account walking on sand, part running from the flies and carrying a lot of bags. I couldn’t help but keep stopping to take pictures, it was so picturesque, would have been a crime not to!) I felt like this was our own secluded private island, just the two of us surrounded by nothing but sea and white sand, idyllic! Skeleton Bay is known for being a reef shark breeding ground, if you are lucky you will see lots of baby reef sharks swimming around your feet. How cute is that?

After spending the day on Coral Bay it was very tempting to stay a couple more nights. We decided not to but be sure to leave enough room within your itinerary for extra stop overs.
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If you are looking to swim with whale sharks or manta rays, Coral Bay and Exmouth would be the best places to do so. There are quite a few tour operators who follow the rays and sharks, meaning they know exactly where they will be during certain times of the day, one of them is Coral Bay Eco Tours which stand out to me as they are there the only carbon neutral tour company in Ningaloo Reef

Whale sharks – 15th March -15th September

Manta Rays – Can be seen all year round, but need a tour company to find them Eco Tours manta rays

How to travel roadtrip Australia, blogger, coral bay, beach
Alas, our trip has come to an end, we are driving back to Perth. The aim of the game is to drive as many miles as we can safely do so then stop over for the night wherever we may be. 

Australia, you have treated us to astounding sights and experiences, we will be back!
Have you ever been on a roadtrip? Where did you go?

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‘In the end you won’t remember the time spent in the office or mowing the lawn, want to go somewhere? Make it happen’

How to travel Western Australia in a campervan – Part 1 roadtrip

Have you ever been to the west coast of Australia? Is it somewhere you’d like to do travel Solo, or go with someone? Looking at pictures, it looks like one of the most beautiful places in the world, and you know something? It is! 

Ultimate guide to Western Australia-Roadtrip. Travel. Blogger. Travel blog

My boyfriend and I have just been on an incredible road trip in Australia, something that I had to share with you as it was just too good to keep all to myself! Imagine, cruising down Pacific coast highway watching all the cute kangaroos hopping across the huge desert landscape, friendly koala bears getting high in eucalyptus trees, people eating way too much vegemite while simultaneously drinking cans of Bundaberg? Okay, that’s my version of what a road trip is in Oz. What is yours?

Now if you have studied a world map, you will know that Australia is a beyond huge country! I am from England, you know, the place where everyone lives in houses that look like the ones you see on the front of chocolate boxes, where driving to the other end of the county is only a mere 10 hour drive and did you know we all go to Windsor Castle? Invited by Queenie herself to sit and enjoy the finest English Breakfast tea served in a delicate bone china teacup with scones on the side! How quintessentially English you say? What I have just described is exactly how England is! Okay, maybe not exactly.

Back to the road trip, one of our main concerns was how can we possibly see all that Australia has to offer within a time frame? Simple, we decided that the side of country we most wanted to visit was the west (mainly because neither of us have visited that side, Sean has an auntie out there who he wanted to see and it is apparently the best place for unspoilt scenery and beaches (East coast has a denser population and way more sky liners) Where to stay? Hotels (way too expensive for the amount of time spent there) Hostels? (Sadly there are not enough on west coast) The answer we came up with was: Roadtrip in a camper!Your ultimate guide, roadtrip in Western Australia. Travel. Laughter. Campervan. Blogger

After extensively researching everything to do with the west coast of Australia, we had an idea of what it offered (of course you can only research so much, sometimes it is word of mouth from the locals that takes you to places you never knew existed)  ideas of places we absolutely had to visit and roughly how long we would need to have our camper for in order to visit each must see place! 

Currency: Australian Dollar

Road trip: Roundtrip from  Perth – Exmouth (we did a total of 3600km) 

Total Expense: $$$$$ – extremely expensive 

Petrol: $$$$$- the further out of civilisation you go, the more expensive it gets. Fill up Every time you see a petrol station! I know it sounds a bit much, but the petrol stations are very far apart from one another. If you run out of fuel, don’t expect help to be arriving anytime soon. Oh and phone signal is very poor.

Food: $$$$$ – We brought enough food in bulk to last us the whole two weeks of our roadtrip (apart from milk which we bought fresh when needed) The best supermarket for groceries is Aldi, well worth your time to travel a bit out of the way to find one. As you head north IGA becomes the only stop to shop with increasing prices of groceries.

Milk: $$ – for some reason this was very cheap, load up on that protein and buy milk for breakfast and a quick top up!

Kangaroos: Driving around dawn and dusk is reported to be the most dangerous times to travel due to the ‘Roos coming out to party! We didn’t drive throughout the night as most of the roads are not lit, however, if you like driving around in a blindfold with only a tiny peephole (because That is how dark it is!)  then you’ll be fine, personally I don’t. Sadly, while we saw many dead kangaroos by the roadside still yet to see a live one in the wild.

Moral: Respect the animals when you are driving, this is their home too. Australia is an inordinately  expensive country. In fact, it makes England look cheap! Ensure you spend wisely and have a little back up money just incase.

Camper van rental: 14 days

How long we should have rented the camper for: 12 days

First and Most crucial point – go to Aldi. Stock up on canned food, noodles, biscuits, snacks and water (lots and lots of water) You can buy fresh veggies etc from the local shops if you like, but it’s cheaper here for lasting produce! I don’t know about you, but my boyfriend eats like he will never have another meal again – we got a Lot of food before our trip and it saved us a Lot of money! 

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Perth- Ledge Point: Distance: 120km approx 1hr 25 
We could have kept driving as it was not too far from Perth, but it was getting late plus we didn’t want to run into any Roos and we were hungry so decided to settle down for the night at holiday park the Big 4. Originally we planned to have one night in a holiday park then one night in a free site. As you will find out we only ended up using one free site during our travels, mostly because they were a car park with a public toilet. Showers are a Must when the weather exceeds 30′. Although there is not much to do around Legde Point, it’s a good stopping point. Big 4 has nice facilities, good clean kitchen (although when busy you may as well cook in your camper) 

I would recommend you stop and stay the night, driving can become monotonous after a while especially when you pass nothing but frazzled plant after frazzled plant.  Stop over, freshen up, perhaps even cook a spaghetti bolognese (our absolute favourite quick easy camper food)

Ledge point- Lancelin- Cervantes/Pinnacles – Jurien Bay. Distance: 90km approx 1 hour (driving at 100km p/hour) 

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The drive gets more scenic by the minute. Turquoise  water on one side and quite surprisingly green trees and shrubs around. After stopping off for lunch in Lancelin ( extremely windy, which is why it is known for wind-surfing) the main stop was Namburg National Park in which lay the mysterious Pinnacles Desert. Do you carry sunglasses everywhere you go? You will need them here! Without the risk of sounding morbid, these huge limestone pinnacles look like gigantic tombstones ranging from smaller than one meter to over 5 meters tall! There are many myths to why and how these came to be, some say aliens! Wildflowers are everywhere from August to October which is pretty to see. After walking around for a bit we realised that although very nice to look at, it wasn’t the kind of place you spend all day at. Stopped off at Lake Thetis to see the stromolites and strombolites, the earths oldest living life forms. It was nice to see these historic rocks covered in what looked like orange moss. Not long after we decided to head 20km north towards Jurien Bay. It really does feel like the wind has been following us as still so windy here! The beach really is beautiful with sparking clear water and soft white sand. Although safe for swimming, I decided against it as the water was a bit too chilly for me! Also if you want to go skydiving, this your place! I didn’t as way too chicken, but you may not be. Time to settle down at Jurien Bay tourist park for the night.Ultimate guide to Western Australia-Roadtrip. Travel. Travel blogger

Our plan was to see a highlight every day then find a holiday park to have dinner and relax for the evening. It gets dark about 7 so always make sure you have a place to stay before then. Using travellers autobarn entitled us to a discount within all Top Tourist Parks. This is where we stayed mostly, with prices ranging from $25 -$45 per vehicle

Jurien Bay – Principality of Hutt River – Port Douglas – Geraldton – Kalbarri. Distance: 350.4km approx 3hrs 50m

Ultimate guide to Western Australia-Roadtrip. Travel. Travel bloggerHave you ever heard of a country within a country. No? Neither had I. Want to visit and have your passport stamped? So did we! Principality of Hutt River is an independent country within Australia. If you can get over the very long dirt road (havoc in a camper van) then this is definitely worth a visit! In truth it really is a family who live and own a very large patch of land, roughly 18,500 acres in Western Australia. Can you believe the size of this place! ( Upon arriving a very nice man dressed in jeans and baggy top came out, introducing himself as ‘Prince Leonard’ to which Sean burst out laughing) He was serious. After having a tour of the chapel which was lovely, the wall where people from all over the world have visited and given money to show where they are from, if you do go there look out for the new English £5 note, we donated it! We met the king who told us all about getting independence from Australia. They even have their own currency (unfortunately all you can buy is a can of Coke from the shelf in their office) All in all, it was an experience like no other! After making numerous stops for lunch, sight seeing and fuel, we arrived at Port Douglas. This was recommended to us from a man in the petrol station ( no one can beat the advice of a local) who had such a sweet three-legged dog! Apparently this place has a pink lake? Now if someone says there is a pink lake, who would turn down the opportunity to see it? Even though it was a bit out the way of our route, this was something we could not miss out on. Come on, how pink can it be!
One word for this – Incredible! I have never ever seen anything like it, probably because I don’t think there is anywhere like this! The water is actually pink! The most gorgeous shade of pink, not quite neon but not baby pink either. Apparently this is caused due to a bacteria which is trapped within the salt granules. As the sun goes down the lakes colour changes from pink to purple. You will want to stop while driving to it as the road makes it seem as if you are going straight past it, don’t worry there is a viewing stop which you can gaze at it until your heart’s content (See below)

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Ultimate guide to Western Australia-Roadtrip. Travel. Port Douglas. Travel bloggerDriving to kalbarri the temperature soars by at least 10′. Water should be your number one priority, a close second will be fly nets. Seriously the black flies are a huge pest in WA, getting worse the further north you get, Australia introduced the beetle which helps keep them at bay but they have not come out yet! Planning to visit Kalbarri? They will be waiting for you in swarms, a fly net is much needed! You can pick these up in a petrol station along the way.

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It’s so hot! Sunscreen has to be reapplied, almost a bottle of water downed and that’s before we are even out of the van! If there are two things I am most thankful for in our camper it has to be the air con and fridge! Getting out of the van, I feel that if someone were to be standing in front of me blasting a huge hairdryer on its highest setting directly at me, it would feel cooler then this intense heat we are subjecting ourselves to!

Having written a lot more than originally intended, if you are still with me this is enough of my bombardement with our adventurous travels for now. If you’d like to come with me on the second part of our adventure exploring Coral Bay and Exmouth come This way.

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“Never let yourself get so busy making a living that you forget to actually live”

Is this is something you would like to do but feel Something is holding you back?

What is holding you back from travelling and how to deal with it

Now I am not one to beat around the bush so let’s get straight to the point. Have you ever thought about travelling? If so, why have you not put yourself out there?

We as humans, by nature tend to look for excuses in order not to do something. Even if it is the one thing you have always dreamt of, you will find a reason not to do it and if you don’t, well someone else will find the excuse for you. 

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Enough with the excuses, let’s get to what is holding you back and how to deal with it:

I really want to travel, but my partner doesn’t:

This is tricky one, but it can be done. This is something you want to do, fast forward five years, is it still some thing you want to do? Discuss it with your husband/wife/partner and see what their reaction is to the concept of going away. Some people are not that adventurous and would prefer to float around their house and surroundings which they are content with, however, you are in a relationship and that means compromise. Travel does not have to mean going abroad for a year, in fact it can encompass from two weeks right up to over a few years. Decide on a time frame with some flexibility that you are both willing to go away for, then put together an itinerary for you both. If they agree to go then perfect, if not then perhaps you should consider Travelling solo and go on the trip of a lifetime alone. The only person you have to answer to will be yourself and you will have the freedom to do and go wherever you want to. If you would rather go with someone, ask your friend who loves an adventure or a member of your family who you know would jump at the opportunity. Don’t put your life on hold for someone else otherwise before you know it you will not have the opportunity to go anymore.
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My family are worried about my safety:

Parents will always be worried over their darling child, and you know something? They will probably always be worried no matter how old you get! Whether you are going on a long car journey or getting on a plane and travelling hundreds of thousands miles away, they will still be thinking about you. What you can do to set their mind at rest is be well prepared, let them know your rough itinerary. Of course this is only a base guide due to the nature of travelling, plans change! Ensure you research into where you are going and be aware of your surroundings. Depending where you are going, there should be internet access at some point, let them know you will be in touch whenever you can. A short email letting them know where you are, where you are heading to next and that you are safe and well, with a little bit of travel thrown in for good measure will suffice

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I have no money:

I am going to be honest with you, travelling is expensive. It can be done on a budget, but that is a whole other post. Travelling can be as flexible as you are, either you choose a week or more. The first thing you need to do is start saving! Open up a savings account and put a certain amount of money into that account every month, create a standing order if that will help. Find ways to cut down your spending, are there any vices you can cut out? Perhaps have nights in instead of out. Now comes the fun part, look into when and where you would like to visit and realistically how much time you want to spend away. Once that is sorted look into flights (always try to book at least 6 months in advance, fares are cheaper) are there any friends or family you can stay with where you are going to? If not try air bnb, hostels, secret hotels) and check the exchange rate. Now those bases are covered, you have an idea of how much it is gong to cost you to get there with accommodation. There is no rush as that destination you want to go to will there waiting for you to explore it! Set up that account..

What about terrorists?

Really? This shouldn’t have to be a point. I am not suggesting you spend your summer travelling through Baghdad, but are you going to let a group of crazy, brainwashed savages dictate your life for you? Going abroad, or anywhere for that matter is a risk (even to the shop or local bar) Think about the millions of car crashes that happen every day, yet look at how many people still drive their car. They do this because this is their life and they are not letting the simple risk that something may happen control their life, neither should you. Everything is a chance, so take yours

“There are seven days in the week, someday is not one of them”

Why you should travel solo (Intro)

Right of the bat, I have known I have always wanted to get out there and explore what the world has to offer. Absorb cultures, see amazing views with my own eyes, not just through a magazine or a digitally altered Instagram post, taste enticing food and perhaps even meet a few male specimens that could not be found in my part of the world. Come on, now I know you have thought about that! Oh the joys of the unknown, slightly forbidden parts of the world I long to explore, dive headfirst into the completely absorbable centre of all that has built and sustained mankind.

To this I ask you, have you ever just found yourself planning your next holiday having only just arrived back from your last one, or trawling through large numbers of articles trying to find your next destination, which will either end your travelling craze or fuel the fire within you to find more destinations to which you yearn to visit?

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Enjoying a stroll across Scarborough Beach, WA

Now many people, some of whom I know very well have either questioned my choice to explore what the world has to offer (really?) or they have wholeheartedly supported my decision and have asked the million dollar question – How did you travel alone? 

Travelling alone is daunting but incredibly liberating and empowering

Travelling alone is something we are all capable of, however we have come to believe that in order to achieve something that could take us away from our loved ones and home is something no one can do. Oh how wrong they are! If someone told me not to travel alone (my first experience of going to a destination alone was Canada, I was 17 years old) Then I would have never forgiven myself for letting an opportunity pass by, one that I could have grabbed with both hands and thrown myself into, which I did!

Enjoy your own company, immerse yourself into the country you have decided to wander

If you have the desire to travel, whether it be backpacking over a considerable amount of countries with nothing more than a few hundred pounds and a scrunched up Lonely Planet guide, or something more standardised such as an itinerary and a

Why you should travel solo, travel, backpacking, holiday, Perth, Australia
Meandering cockatoo’s
rough guide to budget, location and hostels, so be it! The world is open to anyone who wants to visit. The question is are you willing to go alone or are you going to depend on that friend who will probably promise you they will come then end up letting you down with a viable excuse? I know this as I had originally planned to go with my best friend (we had it all planned in secondary school, we were both going to go travelling across the states) needless to say that did not happen. Luckily for me, from that moment I had it embedded in me that in order to fufill what I had once imagined doing I had to just go. To cut a long story short, please do not count on your friends or family who say they will come with you. This small thing I like to call ‘life’ gets in the way and plans do fall to the side. Of course you can plan to go with someone but be aware plans do and will change. 

The way I look at traveling abroad (backpacking, solo travel for holiday, you name it, I have done it) is that you will undoubtedly make friends, a lot of them will be in the same position as you. They will be friendly and open and you will find you actually have a lot more in common with these people then you do with your friend back home. You will create long lasting friendships and memories some can only dream about. Grab this opportunity with both hands and explore the part of you that is currently unknown


Have you decided to bite the bullet and travel solo? I would love to know all about it!