10 Ways I Manage My Fear of Flying (And You Can Too)

Fear of Flying Cover

Are you surprised? I lived in Hong Kong for half a decade, I write a travel blog and I fly regularly. How could I possibly have a fear of flying?

If it helps, I’ve often asked myself the same question.

Where did the fear of flying come from?

My fear of flying properly started to manifest itself a couple of years ago. I haven’t been able to pin it down to anything in particular. There were no traumatising air travel experiences, no personal tragedies. No reason to doubt that the plane I’m travelling on will do anything other than get me from A to B. Read more

So That History Does Not Repeat Itself | Phnom Penh, Cambodia

So that history does not repeat itself

Three pictures taken in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Three places that were difficult to visit, but too important not to miss. Let me share the stories behind them…

Sometimes tourism is more than just a holiday in a nice resort, cocktail with curly straw in hand. More than being brave and backpacking solo around Southeast Asia, posting lovely photos of exotic places on Instagram.

Travel educates you about the world in a way a textbook and the Internet can’t. And part of that education is learning about the history of a country or city to discover what shaped it into the place it is today. Read more

Unpaid Writing | When Do I Stop Working For Free?

working for free 1

Dear fellow writers, freelancing friends, creatives and anyone who has ever had a job; I need some advice. I’ve been writing seriously for around three years now and by ‘seriously’ I mean paid. However, it seems that there are a lot of employers out there who still want me working for free.

They advertise online for freelancers, glossing over the subject of payment until I’ve sent in a CV, cover letter and pitches for articles. Other places are offering full-time ‘paid internships’, which only cover the ‘expenses’ of travel and lunch.

When I question this, the email responses are almost always the same:

‘Sorry, we can’t pay interns / freelancers / writers.’ Read more

16 Things I Would Tell My 16-Year-Old Self

16 Things I would tell my 16-year-old self

We now interrupt this scheduled programme of backpacking-related blog posts to bring you something completely different. Time travel.

I thought that moving back to the UK this Christmas would just feel like my annual Yuletide visit, and that the fact that I don’t have a return flight wouldn’t hit me until well into the new year. Turns out, I really misjudged that one.

Instead, moving home this Christmas feels like going back in time ten years. I feel like my 16-year-old self: reliant on my parents, living back in my hometown, catching up with old friends and going through all my old things (found my Pokémon cards but, sadly, they are worth nothing on ebay). Read more

Sorry, 2016, But This Was a Pretty Good Year for Me

2016

 

My favourite number is 13. Not because I was born on the 13th, or that the number 13 has significance in my life, but because I figure that a number that is unlucky for some has to be lucky for someone.

Much in the same way, the year that was essentially a real-life season of Game of Thrones for the world actually turned out to be a pretty awesome year for me personally. And not because I’m a “Leave” supporter or a Donald Trump fan. My year just kind of happened that way.

So sorry (not sorry) to gloat and rub it in your face, 2016, but you did not break me. 2016 had to be lucky for someone, right? Read more

More Than 50,000 Words

NaNoWriMo 2016

What’s crazier than travelling Southeast Asia solo on a shoestring budget throughout November? Travelling Southeast Asia solo on a shoestring budget throughout November and writing 50,000 words of a book at the same time, that’s what.

Yup, this autumn I zig-zagged from Myanmar to Laos, Laos to Cambodia, Cambodia to Vietnam, and Vietnam to Bali, Indonesia. Oh, and I did NaNoWriMo at the same time. Read more

24 Hours in Luang Prabang

24 hours in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang might be one of the most gorgeous places I have ever laid eyes on. From the sloping roofs of gold Buddhist temples to artfully plated French-influenced cuisine to the swirling coffee colours of the Mekong, I was utterly entranced. Partly by circumstance and partly my terrible planning on my part, I only had 24 hours to enjoy this city.

My flight had landed late so it was already dark when my pickup driver arrived (he was late, drunk and had tried to take someone else to my hostel by mistake so had had to turn around and come back to the airport). I was tired, sticky in my travel clothes and grumpy about my pickup-gone-wrong when the car started weaving through the streets. Read more

Burma Budget and My Myanmar Travel Tips

Burma Budget and my Myanmar Travel Tips Cover

The first stop on my solo backpacking tour of Southeast Asia was a 10-day stint in Myanmar, historically known by the British as Burma. I’d heard amazing things from other travellers who had visited, especially of the stunning Bagan temples at sunset and lively Yangon.

I did a few double-takes at my guidebook, which was unfortunately five years out of date, as a lot has happened to the country in that time and is happening right now. I found lots of information online to help me out with budget and travel tips, but things are progressing so fast that I’m now adding my voice to the mix to help others prepare for their experiences in Myanmar on a backpacker’s budget. Read more

10 Days in Myanmar | Travel Diary

10 Days in Myanmar Cover

Day 1 – Hong Kong to Yangon, Myanmar

I left Hong Kong early in the morning, catching the A11 to the airport and waving goodbye to Rob out of the window. I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach again, like this trip was both a brilliant and terrible idea. Ideas of chickening out and jumping off the bus were tempting, but I managed to stay on until Terminal 2.  I checked in, went through security and immigration, and messaged Rob and my family just before boarding.

On the shuttle to the plane I heard my name being called; it was a friend of a friend who happened to be on the same flight! Of course, the world is big but it is also small (and Hong Kong even smaller). I was thankful for a travel buddy for that first push over the edge. There was no turning back. Read more

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