Tag Archives: travel tips

me

26 Random Travel Facts

12th February 2015

me I recently read a fantastic post on Tea Was Here ‘s blog . It was 24 really interesting travel facts and it made me giggle so I thought i’d give it ago. I love finding out things about people and what better way to introduce myself to all of you than through travel facts. I wanted to make all 24 facts a list of foods I love from around the world but I resisted. I am also horribly indecisive so i’ve actually put 26 facts..sorry! So without further a do here is my (Tania) travel facts.

1. I come from Wales which I’ve realised through travel, is not a well known country but it’s a great place and I recommend for everyone to pop in… Mainly for the scenery and the Welsh cakes.

2. The first country I visited was Spain. When I was 3 my mum dropped my Aunty off at the airport for her vacation. She then spontaneously decided we were going too.

3. When I was 12 I lived in Saudi Arabia. It was a strange (and some times scary) experience but I’m extremely glad I did it.

4. In about 19 days I am setting out on the trip I’ve always dreamed of. 11 countries across Asia in 4 months.

5. I am trying to squeeze in as many working visas before I’m 30. Apart from my home in the UK I have lived in Korea, Saudi Arabia and will soon be in Australia and then Canada for over a year each.

6. I speak minimal Korean , German,French, Sign language and Welsh.. But I can order coffee in them all , which surely is the most important thing.

7. I LOVE Asian food but Italian is a close 2nd (yes I’ve squashed all of Asia into the number 1 spot because it’s too hard to pick)

newyork 8. I’d love to live in New York, San Fransisco, Germany and Italy once in my life. Even if it’s just for a month or two.

9. I prefer hot weather. I can’t wait for Australian weather.

10. My first trip without parents or teachers was a trip to London with Lee when we were 15. I fell in love with the place instantly.

11. The longest trip I’ve been on was a bus trip when I was 16 to Paris. It was just Lee, myself and about 50 old couples on a bus for almost 17 hours.

12. One of our biggest travel disasters was losing all our money in Bangkok. We took back ups and back ups of back ups but somehow fate was not on our side and they all failed. It was still funny though .

13. For my 21st birthday my mum saved every penny she had and sent me and Lee to New York. It’s still the best present I’ve ever been given.

tree 14. When we travel we always check for national holidays. We tend to win the national holiday bingo when we go on vacation. Unavoidable we are hitting 14 in our 4 month trek…opphs

15. As we get older we are probably more flash packers than backpackers but that’s ok… We still only drink the 12p beer.

16. I’ve spent more time researching scams than anything else for our up coming trip. I’m a loser.

airport 17. My mum was one of the only female airplane traffic controllers in the UK when she was in her early twenties. She always pointed out the tower to me when we were near the airport. I blame her for my wanderlust bug

18. The strangest travel fact I’ve ever discovered is that Saudi Arabian Mc Donald’s (& most other restaurants there) are split in two. On restaurant for woman and children and one restaurant for men.

19. Since I bought my camera two years ago it has become glued to me. Travel photography is a big passion of mine.

20. Since moving I’ve made friends from so many different countries including Canada, South Africa, America, Australia, Ireland,Korea….and many more. I can’t wait to spend the next few years visiting them all. Travel breeds travel.

22. My favourite holidays are too hard to pick but Rome, New York, Taiwan and Surat Thani in Thailand are all up there.

23. I LOVE animals. I will base holidays around what animals I can see.

elephant 24. When planning a vacation I only read travel blogs. They are addictive.

25. The places I’m most excited for on our up coming trip are Kyoto, El Nido and Indonesia.

26. As I was running through Heathrow to board my flight to Korea  I saw Danny Devitto. I almost considered missing the flight to hug him.

I’d love to hear all of your facts too so leave a link to your facts below. signature

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Things I need to Learn Before I Go Traveling

16th January 2015

rsz_dsc_0008 Since it is exactly 50 days until we head off on our 4 months travel (epppp) Lee and I have been in super planning mode. There seems to be a million things to get sorted but I have to admit i’m enjoying ever bit of it. It may be my nerdy planning side but an occasion that requires me to make ‘to-do’ lists and buy new notebooks makes it feel like Christmas…yes like I said, i’m a giant nerd.

This has made me start to think of some of the things I need to learn before we hit the road since it seems I may have missed out on some of the basic life skills required for backpacking. Lee , luckily has all of these skill already so he’s going to have to carry me around this holiday and make sure I’m not falling into any holes or chatting to weird looking strangers. What a lucky boy.

So here are the things I need to learn before I travel:

Learn to Ride a Bike

When traveling through Asia it seems that being able to ride a bike or a scooter is as important as bringing your passport. Scooters and travel go hand in hand so the fact I have missed out on this important life lesson may be a problem. In my mum’s defense I wanted to dance and draw instead of riding a bike when I was a kid but in the next 50 days I need to learn and learn quickly.

The logic behind riding a bike makes sense to me as an adult so i’m hoping it will come quite easily but that’s just a theory. I did in fact get on a bike a few years ago, it resulted in me crashing into the nearest wall seconds later in a style Jeremy Beadle would have been proud of.  The other worry is that there doesn’t seem to be one person who’s gone traveling that doesn’t have a horrific story about their scooter experience. If all else fails Lee will just have to have another passenger on the back of his scooter. Or we will walk…a lot. Tania066

Learn to Pack light

4 months and one carry on bag…ahhh! I use to be the person that carried everything anyone may need. My mum is the best for always having everything. There is a running joke in our family about the one time we all took a family trip to Spain. We were sat on the beach and my uncle ripped his shirt, he jokingly asked my mum if she had a needle and thread. She replied ‘do you want white thread or black thread’. So I’ve always followed in her footsteps and tried to have all the essentials (and a few extras)…then we had to move to Korea. We were given two bags and told to pack our lives into them. This seemed like an impossible task but after two years here I realise I could have traveled with half of what I had. Maybe it’s moving house 10 times in 10 years but I am finding it easier and easier to cull my items. Even so it seems the fates give me less and less to work with every time. 4 months on one tiny bag seems impossible but I’ve read a lot of great websites such as ‘Be My Travel Muse’ and ‘Adventurous Kate’ which means I’m hoping we will be able to do and I think it’s always important to remember that in Asia clothes are cheap and there isn’t anything that you will need in an emergency situation that you probably can’t get locally. Unless you are Lee who wants to pack Cadbury’s chocolate that is.

rsz_img_0451 Learn to Drive

This probably isn’t something I think i’ll be able to fix before I leave Korea but it’s something I really (REALLY) want to learn when we are living in Australia. A knock on the head at 17 left me falling down and blackout for quite a few years but now i’m back in business and ready to drive. Lee is a great drive but I don’t know if he’ll be able to teach me since it may be like teaching a monkey to write Shakespeare but it will happen. Get the silk scarf , sunglasses and Frank Sinatra driving CD ready Australia.

rsz_dsc_0012 Learn to go in the Ocean

Some people are scared of heights, some things are scared of the dark….I am afraid of deep water. The sea freaks me out no end. I love fish and turtles but sharks, jelly fish and all other creepy crawlies need to stay very far away. I would love to scuba dive and snorkel so i’m gonna get over this fear…maybe not in Australia (i.e shark country) but I WILL DO IT!

 

rsz_1kohsam1 rsz_kohsam12 Learn to speak every language …quickly

A little self explanatory but we love to be able to try and say a few words in each country we go to. At the very least ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘hellos’. We are those lucky bloody travelers that speak English and we really are privileged that all countries have a basic understanding of our language but we don’t want to solely rely on that and be those stereotypical tourists shouting loudly at waiters so we have our print outs of all the countries languages and enough flights to hopefully try and get a basic grasp. Fingers crossed.

signs

So that’s the list for now. Just a few basic things that I think will be helpful on the road. I’m not sure i’ll be able to do them in just 50 days. At least if I don’t learnt them you guys might get some funny photos of me terrified on a boat and crashing into bushes on bikes . 

Are there any things you’d recommend I learn before traveling? Was there anything you wish you’d learnt before traveling the world? What was your favourite travel experience? 

 

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Getting Down with the Sickness (in Korea)

29th December 2014

Being Sick In Korea

Today I’m taking my first sick day in Korea. I have managed to not take a sick day for 3 years and I’m very happy about that. I hate sick days. Having spent a lot of timing being sick when I was younger I do everything humanly possible to avoid the dreaded ‘day off’. In Korea it seems they hate a ‘sickie’ as much as me. They are rarer here than a blue steak.

I can only talk about the school system since that’s where I have worked but the way it goes around here is there is a nurse’s office in your school with a bed and when you are sick you lay down in between classes. They only time you take a sick day is if you are stupidly infectious or if you can’t physically move.

Today I am suffering from the flu combined with a sickness bug and due to having no voice, no stomach and no will to stand in front of hundreds of angry students, I am at home.

IMG_1009 So what happens? Well my teacher knew I was sick so she wasn’t surprised when I called in to say I was being a giant fool. I hung up and laid in bed unconscious to the world but in Korea sick days are different. In the UK when you ring in sick that is normally the end of it. If you are sick for more than five days you have to get a doctor’s note. In Korea teachers tend to call you throughout the day to check in on you and will often take you to the hospital. As a British person who only goes to the hospital in a life and death situation this can be scary. It can initially seem a little weird but when you step back from it and realise these people are family orientated and know you have no one then it is very sweet. Even if I just want to hide under the covers.

The doctor normally sees you in ten minutes and prescribes you more medicines than you could ever imagine you’d consume. Today I stayed in and was given a drip to replenish my electrolytes. It was all so easy and painless.

In the UK we don’t pay for health care but here you do. I remember the first time I realised that the safety cushion of my NHS was gone, I was terrified. I thought they ask for my kidney in exchange for some headache tablets. Luckily it’s a lot less than I expected with the added bonus that being a teacher provides half of our insurance.

Today I went and had two drips of electrolytes, an anti nausea injection, and a consultation. It came to 35,000 won or 35 dollars (20 pound).

All the doctors that I’ve met in Korea have spoken some English since they are very educated people. They have also been just lovely and kind so if you are feeling under the weather don’t you worry about popping to your nearest doctors, walking in and making an appointment. If there English isn’t great then luckily with sickness charades is quite effective.

I hope you don’t get sick in Korea but if you do it really isn’t the worst country to do it in.

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