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Take a trip in your own backyard

Take a trip in your own backyard

The idea of travel can be scary for some, and when you think about all the finer details it can be quite overwhelming. Where will you go? How will you get there? How much will everything cost? Will you have enough money to get you through your holiday? What accommodation will you use? Will it be in a good spot or will you still have to travel a fair distance to do the things you want to do? What is the public transport like at this destination or is hiring a car a better option? What do you even want to do? Will you have enough time to do it all? The questions could go on and before you know it, planning to go on a holiday just seems like too much work. It’s not by the way; I think it is completely worth it. But I can see how others may feel a bit stressed while planning their holidays, especially if you are travelling a fair distance from the comforts of your own home. So, what if I told you that it’s not necessary to travel great distances in order to have a great holiday? Ok, Let me tell you my story.

 

I grew up in Australia and I recently moved to Scotland where I am currently living and working. I have ‘travelled’ a tiny bit but I plan to do a whole lot more. My first memorable trip was when I was sixteen and I went to the United States for three weeks. I started on this journey alone and joined up with other people around my age planning to do the same thing. It didn’t seem like a big deal at first but now when I look back, it was a rather brave decision. It was my first time on a plane, first time in a foreign country, first time on a holiday alone! I hadn’t even lived alone yet at this stage in my life. But it all worked out well and I had a blast. I had some fabulous experiences, met some amazing people and learnt some valuable lessons. One of the biggest lessons I came across on this trip was becoming aware of how little I actually knew about my own country. As I met new people and shared stories with them, they were interested in knowing me and learning about the country I came from. They were asking me about places that I had never seen and asking me questions that I just could not answer. I knew straight away, that I needed to see more of my home land.

 

Skip forward a couple of years to when I am old enough to drive and now I had a road trip planned to see more of this place I called home. The main focus was to get to the big rock but Broken Hill, Adelaide, Port Augusta, and Coober Pedy were all stopping points along the way. The trip was amazing and finally I could say that I had been in Outback Australia. Again, I had some fabulous experiences and met some great people. I was able to enjoy a camel ride across the red sand to watch the sun rise over Uluru; I was able to endure the blazing sun as I hiked around Katajuta; I succeeded in climbing Kings Canyon and was rewarded with amazing views and a hidden little swimming hole to cool off in; the helicopter rides, the star gazing, learning bush skills and history from the local Aboriginal people, mining for opals, staying in underground hotels and even seeing famous locations for filming were all experiences that will stay with me forever.

 

On the last day in Coober Pedy before returning home, I came across some friendly people in a charming little opal shop. We started talking and I found out that they were actually from my home town, Newcastle. They had moved out to Cooper Pedy to try their hand at opal mining. They asked me about my trip. I obviously had a lot to tell them and I was excited to hear any stories they had too. I told them all about what I had experienced and they were eager to hear it all. They’re faces lit up with excitement and genuine interest in what I was telling them. I finished by asking them what they enjoyed doing around this area. Their faces became a little less bright. The man looked down with a slight look of shame on his face. The women sighed and finally said ‘we haven’t done anything yet’. I felt a little sad for them but realised that life is busy and maybe they were still settling in. I responded by saying ‘oh well, soon enough’. The man then told me that they had already been there for ten years and they hadn’t even made the drive to see Uluru yet. I couldn’t believe it. Ten years, and they hadn’t even made a day trip to see this wonder of the world. Something that I had spent days and many dollars to be able to do; they could do it in a day and with spending very little money but they still hadn’t done it yet.

 

As I was standing having this conversation with these people, I started to think about all the places closer to home that I had not taken the chance to visit yet. My thoughts were interrupted as the women attempted to clarify. She offered the explanation that sometimes when things are so close, people take them for granted and it doesn’t seem to be of high importance to see and do things that are so readily available. She went on further to say that they had been on holidays and overseas trips but they hadn’t taken the few hours to visit Uluru. She confirmed that it was something that they wanted to do but because it was at their fingertips, something else was always put higher on their priority list. This made me think even more. Why would someone spend months saving money to go on holidays somewhere when they could see and do things closer to home, every afternoon or weekend, spend significantly less money, and still have the option for a larger holiday at the end of the year. This way you could have a holiday every week and you wouldn’t have to slave away for so long before you could enjoy yourself.

 

So I bet you can guess what I did when I finally got home. I started taking advantage of everything that I had at my fingertips. I took weekend trips up and down the coast, went camping whenever I could, spent days soaking up the sun on some of the best beaches in the world (and they were only a ten minute drive away), took walks along the lake, ran through parks, splurged on eating out at local cafes and restaurants and indulged in some of the greatest food I have ever tasted, I showed interest in the local history, tried new activities and visited local attractions as often as possible. I was no longer going to work everyday waiting for the holidays to come around; every afternoon and every weekend was a holiday for me. I came to realise just how cheap it was to travel and to be a tourist in the very place you call home. This helped me make the decision to call the United Kingdom my home while I worked and travelled Europe over the next few years. I have still not done everything that I want to do in Australia, but that will eventually become my home again in the near future and I will be sure to take full advantage of what’s in my own backyard.

 

For now, my backyard is the United Kingdom and Europe, and I am going to make it my priority to see and do it all as much as possible. Again, I have ran into people here who have not seen or done half the stuff that I have achieved in a few months and they have lived here their entire lives. I have been able to see landmarks and historic sites like the Angel Of The North, The Tyne Bridge, The Victoria Tunnel, The Segedunum, Hadrian’s Wall, The William Wallace Well and Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle, and many more. Most are either completely free or very cheap things to do but it is surprising to talk to so many people that have still not experienced them yet. They don’t need to pay for travel, they don’t need to pay for accommodation, and they don’t even need to pay to eat out if they don’t want to because it is all close enough to home for them. It is possible to have fun without a lot of money. At the moment, I am just about broke as all of my money has gone onto my upcoming trip to Europe but I am working hard and taking advantage of all the things around me that are completely worth doing and are either cheap or free. So I guess my point is, that you don’t need to have a lot of money to be a tourist in your own backyard.

 

It blows my mind but some people rarely realise what they have in front of them, as people continue to say to me ‘why have you come here if you are from Australia’. And I mean they really do say it to me rather than asking it as a question because they don’t seem to think there would be an answer worthy enough. Yes, it is very different to Australia which I absolutely love. But this place is unique for its very own reasons. Australia has amazing weather, breathtaking beaches and cityscapes, a tempting palate for all types of appetites, quirky and unique sights to see, one of the most diverse and distinct collections of wildlife to offer, and not to mention the simple things like the outdoor kind of lifestyle that keeps you smiling from day to day. The United Kingdom on the other hand is so rich with history it is hard to go anywhere where someone greater has not been before you. Everywhere you go, there is a story about royalty and past leaders, wars and legends that have changed humanity, poets and artists that are still worshiped today, or scientists whose discoveries and inventions have transformed the world we live in. The U.K. has many famous landmarks and monuments, gorgeous scenery, a strong influence in creating distinguished whisky and gin at some of the finest distilleries, festivals not to be missed, enchanting scenes and famous film locations, and it is simply the place where fairytales are made. In short, you can’t compare apples with oranges but you can enjoy both.

 

You may think, as they say, that the grass is greener on the other side but the grass may very well be just as green in your own backyard if you look hard enough to find it. Or it may not be; It may be a garden bed filled with beautifully delicate flowers instead; It may be completely decked out for friends and parties; It may be a tiny retreat for sun soaking and relaxation. The point is, that I am not actually talking about your personal backyards and flower beds at all. I am referring to the culture, art and history, landscapes, landmarks and monuments, quirky food stalls, hip little bars and anything else there is to appreciate and enjoy that is closer to your home. The truth is, that what you have at home may be different to the any other holiday destinations that you have in mind but there are still plenty of things to experience and be grateful for whether it is green grass or not. If it is the flower bed then cherish the flowers; the party yard, then live it up with your friends; the retreat, then by all means kick back and relax. I want to make it clear that I am not trying to discourage you from travelling. I am actually an advocate for the complete opposite and suggest that you do it as often as possible. This will hopefully make you realise though, that you don’t need to wait long distances in between your holidays. Remember, wherever you are, someone is always paying big money to be able to travel and to do the things that are there available to you every day. So, think about how you can become a tourist in your home town and why not take advantage to travel your own backyard. Happy travels!

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Confessions of a damaged heart

Confessions of a damaged heart

I may be damaged but I am not broken. I may have developed a few imperfections over time but similar to the intricate knots found in wood grain, the very curves and bends that make me weak, is where my beauty lies. The scars I bare are like the tiny flaws found in rare coins that make them so unique and so very valuable. If my heart could talk, I am sure it would cry out these words every day to remind me that I can still love and be loved. This blog is both a message from the heart and to the heart of every woman, man and child who has ever been ruined by love. After we have been damaged we question whether love is real, whether it is possible to ever love someone or whether it is possible for someone to ever truly love us. We go through phases of hope and despair, and often find ourselves thinking, speaking and doing crazy things.

Once you have been hurt it is easy to send yourself crazy by over thinking and over analysing every little detail of your life. It is easy to think that there is something wrong with you, that you did something wrong and that you were the problem. This is not true of course, but it is a path that most can go down. You are not perfect and you may have a few things that you need to work on, but you are no different to anyone else and you can still be loved. You just haven’t found the right personĀ in the right situation yet. This is what I have come to realise after spending many moments questioning my ability to be loved. I know it sounds ridiculous but after being pushed to the side on more than one occasion it is hard not to have those negative thoughts from time to time.

It is easy to feel worthless and insignificant when you are meant to be loved by someone but you are their last priority. I was in a relationship with someone for over a decade and I can’t even remember a single moment where I was put first in the relationship. Everything from his friends, the football club, the pub and even TV was given more attention than I received. When I finally had the courage to end it, he then gave me the pleasure of telling me that he never loved me. It hurt at first but then when I really thought about it, I knew it was true and realised that the same was true for me; I never truly loved him. I spent so much time trying to make it work, trying to gain his attention and affection that I never stopped to think and I couldn’t see that the whole situation was wrong.

So now I was out in the world alone and free to find someone who was more suited for me, someone who could appreciate me and treat me the way I deserved. But dating was not as fun as I first thought it would be. I came across a number of different men who were all unique in their own ways. But, they all had one thing in common; their only interest was in sex. None wanted to spend any actual time with me or take a chance to actually get to know me. This done wonders for my self esteem and self worth as I once again started to feel like there was something wrong with me and maybe I was doing something wrong. Even if they initially seemed like genuine guys and they started out by showing interest in me, it wasn’t long before the only time they could spare was bed time. We have all been guilty of saying these words and though I don’t believe them to be true, I started to have this mindset that ‘all men are the same’.

After looking at my past experiences, it is easy to see why I felt like there was something wrong with me. You may even be guilty of it now as you think, ‘well, what is wrong with you’? I obviously wasn’t interesting enough, I wasn’t attractive enough, I wasn’t fun and I wasn’t good in bed. I was too clingy or I didn’t show enough interest. It has to be true. How can it not be true? If I couldn’t gain and keep the attention of my partner, if I couldn’t gain the interest of any man long enough for a meal, and if no one wanted to spend any actual time with me then how could I possibly be interesting, attractive, fun or good in bed? Surely if I was those things I wouldn’t have so much trouble in this area, right? And that’s where the complication is, because I have had people assure me that I am those things but I have still not had any luck in this area. I know I am an amazing person (though it is hard to remember that at times) and anyone lucky enough to get to know me mostly would agree. I guess I just haven’t found the right personĀ in the right situation yet.

I thought I came close to finding something more, but more heartache and lessons to learn was all I found. After attempting to date for a little while, I came across a guy who seemed to be perfect. We enjoyed the same kind of activities and passion for adventure, his heart was damaged but kind and forgiving, he was a great communicator and we could talk for hours about anything, he had goals in life that he was on his way to achieving, his smile could make me melt, the sex was amazing, and when he held me he made me feel like nothing else mattered. But although he may have been right for me, I was clearly not right for him as he continued to see other girls and decided he no longer wanted to see me. A few more times I have come across decent men but the situation I am in seems to get in the way and none are brave enough to take a chance when my immediate future is unclear and distance may be an issue. Also, I am great at sabotaging anything that may have been possible by overreacting or reacting too quickly in a misguided attempt to protect myself.

So there are still nights when my pillow collects my tears. I am constantly torn between preparing for a life of independence while accepting that I am unlovable, and believing or hoping that one day someone will find reason to love me and be courageous enough to take a chance. But this person can’t just be anyone. They will have to be brave enough to go where life leads them. We all have goals in life that we’re working towards and although I am willing to detour to take my life down a different path than planned, It would only be for the person that is willing to do the same for me. The challenge of travelling and trying to find love is to avoid thinking about all the reasons why it may not work out. Instead we need to accept the possibility and allow ourselves to be excited with the idea that it might. We sometimes give up too easy and too quickly because we fear being hurt. Our fears become our limits.

I am not without fear of being hurt. But being brave is not being fearless, it is continuing in spite of fear. I know love brings pain but I walk into the future fully aware of this. I am me, you are you. Our past experiences are what make that so, including the pain we have experienced. I know sadness and loneliness too well and it is because of this, I appreciate love on a greater scale; like the beautiful timber and the collectable coins, my faults have become my advantages. When you have been in the dark for so long, the littlest spark can add such an intense light to your life. After being in the wrong kind of relationship and a number of undesirable situations, I feel that I have a greater understanding and appreciation of love and I will never take it for granted. My past has given me lessons on love and pain, allowed me to love more passionately and will make sure that any love I accept is nothing less than the real, life-changing kind of love we read about in books.

I don’t want us to need each other. I don’t want to be with you because we are both lonely and we like the idea of love. I don’t want the driving force to be a mere sexual attraction. I want the kind of love that knocks us off our feet while at the same time keeping us level headed, in touch with reality and focused on what’s most important in life. I want someone who loves me for my wild and kind heart, my eccentric mind, my awkward smile, my over enthusiasm for life, my passion for adventure, for my extreme blue eyes that somehow manage to still see the good in this world, and for my curiosity in everything that crosses my mind or path. I want to love someone for similar, and yet unique and exceptional reasons. I thought I had a set of qualities picked out that need to be present in anyone worthy of taking and keeping my heart, but the more I think about it the more I realise that sometimes you just have to let go. Sometimes we don’t actually know what we are looking for until we find it and we won’t ever find it unless we take a chance.

So my damaged heart confesses; though I may be damaged, I am not broken. I am still hopeful to love and be loved. I know pain but it only makes me value love more.

Every journey starts with the first step

Every journey starts with the first step

Every day life delivers to us thousands of choices. In everything that we do, we need to make a decision. From the very moment that you opened your eyes this morning up until this very moment in time you have already made a vast number of choices. You needed to decide if you were going to get out of bed or roll over and go back to sleep. You needed to decide what to wear, what to have for breakfast, when you were going to leave the house, whether it was going to be coffee or tea or neither, if you were going to work hard or have a lazy day, who to speak to and how you would speak to them, and even if you were going to read this blog or not. Well let me just say, you made the right choice.


But before you continue reading the rest of the post I want you to think about your life. Really think about it, with two main questions in mind. What are you happy with and what do you want to change? They seem to be pretty broad questions and maybe you are sitting there thinking that you don’t have an answer to these questions. But I can guarantee that if you tried hard enough, you would have a response to share. The reality is, we are all human and we all dream and aspire to have more in our life and to become more than who we are. We may very well be quite happy and content with most things in our lives but there is always something more that we crave. This could be a new car, a bigger house, a better job, a holiday, more free time, a new or improved relationship, a busier social life, to be healthier or more attractive. I am sure the list goes on. No matter what your answer is, the truth is, we all want something more! Now, ask yourself this question. Why haven’t you got the thing you want? This may be a little easier to respond to as you sit there and list all the reasons and excuses as to why this is the case. STOP! Stop with the reasons and excuses because they are simply an illusion. You can grit your teeth, shake your head and argue your point with me until you are blue in the face. But take a breath and listen up because there is a very strong chance that you may see my line of reasoning as you read on.

 

Life is hard. Life is really hard and nothing seems to come easy. Maybe it feels like the world is conspiring against you and no matter what you do, nothing seems to go the way you want. Possibly the goals you have in mind seem impossible to achieve. Maybe you have tried and failed or perhaps it is just not the right time. Maybe, just maybe it is not within your control. BULLSHIT! They are all excuses. The reality is that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Do you remember when this exact statement was shared with you when you were a kid and you believed it? “Anything is possible; you can do anything you set your mind to” would be the usual quote. Well, whoever it was that told you that was actually telling you the truth. But why is it that somewhere in between being that child with that hope of the world and becoming that adult who quite literally has the world at their feet, we start to think that those people who spun us that line were actually deceiving us? There are many ways this can be answered because we all have unique lives and the response may be different for each of us. Maybe somewhere during your life you have tried and failed. Maybe at one point in your life someone, who was scared or envious, told you that it was not possible and you believed them. Maybe you have thought about it and you have realised that it is just too hard or the risk is too great and it’s not worth it. Do me a favour and look at the statement again. ‘Anything is possible; you can do anything you set your mind to.’ Maybe, you just misunderstood this information. This quote is not meant to give you the impression that everything in life will be easy and everything will come free. Keep that in mind. But whatever the reason, you need to change your way of thinking and remember what you were told as a child. It is possible.

 

Many obstacles will still be in your way but if you start to believe again then you are half way there. Once you have your mind set ready for the challenge you need to consider what your other obstacles are. Most likely, the biggest obstacle you will have to overcome is yourself. You may give up too easily, you may not plan enough, you may not make your goal a priority, you may not want it bad enough? Can I remind you of what I said before; life is hard! Nothing comes easy and you don’t have the luxury of being lazy if you want to succeed. There are two final and very important questions for this article; how bad do you want it and what are you willing to sacrifice to get it? Do you want that new car or a bigger house? Well, sorry to say but you will have to cut back in other areas. Whether it is eating out, the pub, or shopping; something has to be sacrificed. Do you want a better job? Well, take the time to improve your skills through a course and get out there to look for something that suits you better. The ideal job will not fall into your lap on your lunch break. Do you want more free time? Then free up your schedule and stop putting so much pressure on yourself to be perfect. The house can go a few days without being vacuumed, you don’t need to spend every waking hour committed to your job, and not everything has to be done at once. Is it that you want an improved relationship or an improved social life? Well, stop being boring and lazy and get out there to enjoy life. Try something new, learn who you are as a person, meet new people and build your relationships through experiences and conversation. I am sorry I don’t have the secret or magic to help you all reach your goals and utmost desires. The cold harsh reality of it all is that you need to decide what you really want in life, what you are willing to do to achieve it and then take the first step in the right direction. No one will do it for you and it won’t happen unless you make the conscious decision to work hard for it.

 

 It all sounds tough, I know. But I am not asking you to do something that I would not be willing to do and have not done myself. A little while ago, I asked myself the very same questions I ask you now and I decided what I wanted, considered what was holding me back and came to the conclusion of what I was willing to do to overcome the obstacles and achieve what I wanted most. I jumped straight in and risked it all because I decided that the possible outcome was worth it. I cleared out my life, got rid of all my possessions, said goodbye to the people I loved the most, and I made myself vulnerable to failure as I took a leap of faith. It wasn’t easy and at times it is still really hard. But I am able to do what makes me happy and travel the world because I made one decision and took one step at a time.  Now, I look back and wonder how I made it all possible. You can do the same. Make one positive choice after another, take one step at a time, and eventually you will look back on all that you have achieved. I don’t promise it will be an easy journey to reaching your goals, but I do promise it will be worth it. Just don’t give up. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Change happens slowly, within a million moments that all seem to be the same. Until one day, you look back and you notice that the change was happening everyday within every choice you decided to make. So what choice are you going to make today? 

Balance is Bliss

Balance is Bliss

The world is full of a lot of weird and wonderful things, with the most curious being the being! No, that is not a writing mistake. I am talking about the human being, the life form, the person, the individual! That is in fact what we all are, individuals! We all look, live, feel and indulge in pleasures differently. In every thought there is to be had, or every task there is to be done, we all do life in our own unique ways. But what if I said there was a conscious decision that we can all make, a secret, that would help you get the most out of life? We all have unique personalities and characteristics but what if I told you that the secret to life is to be more like your friend, neighbour, colleague, boss or even one of your rivals? Sounds silly huh? Why would you want to be like someone else and not yourself? How can I be asking you to set aside your individuality and how can I be asking you to be someone you’re not? Well read on and it will make more sense, I promise.

 

So, why should you try to be like someone else? I will get to that soon, but first I want you to think about all the different people you know and the different kinds of lives they lead. Who are they? What makes them smile? How do they get things done? What are they successful in? How do they react when things don’t go the way they planned? And how do you feel about this person? Having the answers to these questions will help you as you read on. But I want you to pause and really think about it. Is there someone in your life who is active, always on the go and can never sit still? Is there someone in your life who is motivated and dedicated and always achieves what they set out to do? Is there someone who is carefree, and what some may call a little lazy, but they always seem to get lucky and have things go their way regardless? Is there someone who is spontaneous and is always the life of the party? Is there someone who is responsible and always planning for the future in fine detail? Well, I am not going to ask you to choose to be like one of these people. Not one, but every person you thought of has something to teach you. You need to take, as they say, ‘a leaf out of their books’ and be more like them! Still doesn’t make sense? Continue and it will become clearer.

 

The truth is, I am not telling you to change and become a completely different person; I am not telling you to become your best friend from school or the colleague that gets on your nerves. No. I am not telling you to become them, I am telling you to be more like them. To help make sense of it all I want you to think about yourself now. I want you to think about yourself in regards to the questions mentioned above. Who are you? What makes you smile? How do you get things done? What are you successful in? How do you react when things don’t go the way you planned? How do you feel about yourself? Then, I want you to think about the statements above and decide where you would fit in all of it? Are you the active one, the motivated one, the carefree one, the spontaneous one or the one who has a plan for everything? Is it easy for you to put yourself in to one of these categories; do you have one in mind? Well the reality is, you should not be any one of them; you should be all of them! I am hoping this is starting to make more sense for you now when I say we should be more like others. To cut to the point, balance is best; balance is bliss. Don’t be stuck in your ways but rather, let yourself be fluid in making decisions and taking action. Don’t always stick with the same approach. Let yourself change and grow; be the person you need to be for that moment in time. I know it may sound a little unusual but I speak from experience. I was once the person who had a plan for EVERYTHING! Then, after a few changes in my life I went from one extreme to another and adjusted to becoming very spontaneous and a little crazy. Neither options were great, as I went from a rather boring and stressful life to a lifestyle that was rather unhealthy. I needed to find a balance.

 

Life is fun, crazy, unusual, unpredictable and diverse. Life is full of so many different situations and circumstances and each person will react and tackle it all differently. Sometimes things will work out and sometimes they won’t. That’s life. But in actual fact, you can succeed more and get the most out of life if you become more like others. Instead of  placing yourself in one of the categories above and continuing with your repetitive behaviours, you adopt the behaviours of others, a behaviour that is suitable for each situation. As you are reading this now you are thinking that I have fooled you into reading this far and I don’t actually have a secret to share with you. Changing your behaviour and approach to suit every situation is not a secret! And you would be correct. It is not a secret and it is something we may do on a daily basis. But the secret is, to become more aware of yourself and each situation and be conscious of the choices you are choosing to make because we all seem to fall back into certain habits more often than we would like to admit. The secret is to know yourself and how you would usually react to a situation. The secret is to break free from the usual ways that we would behave. The secret is to find balance in all that we do and to be active, motivated, spontaneous, well prepared, carefree, and even lazy at perfectly the right times when each situation calls for it. Don’t try to plan every detail of your life because you will fail. Don’t be overly spontaneous and carefree because when it all falls to pieces as a result of no plan, you will care a lot. Don’t be so lazy that you miss out on opportunities and experiences, but don’t be so active that you make yourself exhausted and become hospitalised as a result of not resting enough. Again, I am speaking from experience here. But that takes me to my final few points and how this can all be taken on board when travelling.

 

Travel often brings out certain characteristics and personalities in people. There are all types of travellers. There is the well prepared traveller who has a detailed schedule and a plan for everything. There is the spontaneous traveller who likes to ‘wing it’ and just take each experience as it comes. There is the active traveller who thrives on adventure, who aims to see and do it all. There is the carefree or lazy traveller who likes to sit by the pool and relax. There is the traveller who likes to indulge, the traveller who likes to sightsee, likes to party, likes to explore etc etc. I could go on and make a large list on the types of people that travel  and the ways of travelling but that would take a whole new blog. To get to the point quickly,  I will say again that balance is best; balance is bliss. Though we may all have a preference as to what we do and how we behave when we travel, I can say from experience that like life, we get more out of travelling when we become more like others. Take a leaf out of someone else’s book, step out of your comfort zone, try to find a balance and get the most out of travelling; get the most out of life! Make a flexible plan to allow you to be spontaneous, spend the day being active and then spend the afternoon relaxing with a drink, be tight-fisted with some choices to allow you to indulge in others, involve yourself in everything on offer from relaxing and taking it all in to partying and exploring. Travelling is an amazing opportunity and you should seek to get as much out of it as you can. Travelling brings about so many stories and so many lessons if you allow it to. Once more, I am talking from experience. For more stories, advice and practical information on travelling check out my other articles. And remember, next time you are faced with a situation ask yourself if it would be best to be like someone else? Balance is best; balance is bliss.