A very English goodbye

Moving abroad and saying goodbye to England

5 things I’ll miss about the UK Tomorrow, I step onto a plane from London and leave England behind with no immediate plans to return. This is the culmination of a year of planning and what has proven to be a very busy, very emotional month. It’s only now, as the countdown to leaving life as I know it behind has reached its hiatus, that I’m starting to realise what it’ll mean to say goodbye. In an effort to pay England the respect it’s due after years of happy inhabitance, I have spent this last month partaking in the most British of activities that me, my friends and my family could concoct. From afternoon teas, roast dinners and bottomless brunches, to long walks in the rainy countryside and picnics in the park, I’ve painted an indelible image of Englishness on my mind that will serve as a mental postcard should ever I want a snapshot of home.
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Planning to travel – selling vs. renting out your home

Selling your house to travel header

Planning to travel is stressful, there’s no two ways about this. You may read stories about inspirational people who have simply bought a one way ticket to somewhere obscure and just hopped on a plane, but I’ll bet that it’s not actually been that simple for them, that most of the time they’ve had a few more boxes to tick before they can simply venture forth. That’s why I’ve written a series of Planning to Travel posts – about the more mundane, administrative aspects of travel that you’ll need to battle through before you get to reap the rewards of a life of adventure. In most circles of life, owning a property is something to be congratulated on. It’s seen as a marker of stability, maturity and financial good sense. However, for those that wish to travel (often because they’re in search of a lifestyle that is neither stable, lucrative or particularly “grown up”) owning a property can be a bind. If your dream is to leave your hometown with a one-way ticket and no specific plans to return, your lovely home can quickly become a shackle to a lifestyle you’ve grown out of.
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PADI Open Water Course – the journey to divemaster begins in Malta

Completing my PADI Open Water in Malta with Maltaqua

I am lucky in love. I have found a burning passion, a heady romance, a deep and unconditional love in diving. Me and diving have entertained a courtship that started years ago, tentatively, on a blustery day in April. On a Mediterannean island in the chilly Spring of 2012 diving began to woo me. Much like any holiday romance, after our brief but ardent fling, we parted ways for what I thought would be forever. But, just a short year later, I found myself in diving’s underwater embrace once again, this time in Bali. Whilst gliding alongside sea turtles in the clear Indonesian waters, I vowed that I would stop being such a capricious lover and that I would take my fickle flirtations to the next level; it was time to commit. I wanted to become certified, to complete my PADI Open Water, and where better to do so than in the place where it all began – Malta.
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Planning to Travel – the stressful bits that no one likes to talk about

The difficult bits that no one talks about

Want to know a secret? Planning to travel isn’t easy, cheap or quick, it’s actually really quite stressful. But it’s worth it… For anyone who’s ever dreamt of throwing in the conventional day job to travel the world, it can seem like a daunting prospect. You’re really up for the sunsets, the hikes, the lazy days on the beach, but you’re just not quite sure you have the wherewithal to get there. Perhaps like me you’ve spent hours drooling over fabulously exotic Instagram accounts with a mingled feeling of inspiration, apathy and envy: how on earth did they make that happen?
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Retreating to Venice to write – Pink Pangea’s travel writing retreat

Pink Pangea travel writing retreat Venice 2015

It started with an email. An 8-hour day in a conventional office can feel like an eternity and at 10am on one particularly dreary day I was surreptitiously feeding my guilty addiction, scrolling through a Twitter feed saturated with travel blogs, travel photography and travel inspiration. Amongst these was a recurring message – ‘sign up to our travel writing retreat in Venice’
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The time I went to Hawaii & Mexico. Apparently.

Hawaii_Mexico_Revisited

Ah, the hot white sand of Hawaii, the world-class diving in azure waters and the fragrant scent of fresh fish cooking on smoky fires; the majestic wonders of ancient Mexico, the smell of spice carrying on the warm breeze; I close my eyes and I can picture it now. But remember it? Not a chance. That’s because – to my undying exasperation – this beyond fabulous adventure to far-off tropical lands happened before I was walking, talking or forming longterm memories.
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7 easily forgotten travel costs

Easily forgotten travel costs header

Whether you’re going for a two week jaunt to a sunnier clime, or a round-the-world, open-ended backpacking adventure, travelling can be an expensive affair. Any avid traveller will preach to you the difference between cost and worth, and I’ve yet to meet someone who believes that their hard-earned cash was wasted on travel, but it’s important that you prepare yourself financially before you leave, not least to prevent you running home early with your tail between your legs because you’ve burned through your savings in half the time you’d budgeted for.
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