Summer of 2018

It’s time to say our farewell to summer of 2018 and welcome the glorious autumn! Goodbye to days lying on the beach… goodbye to campfires on a starry night… and most of all – goodbye to our summer adventures. See you next year!

To be honest with you, I had only planned one trip for this summer – Rome with the girls. However, it turned out to be the most adventurous summer of them all. After Rome, I set off to gorgeous Sardinia, unique Amsterdam and lovely Paris! Some of the most exciting things in your life will happen unexpectedly. Without any planning or warning, they will just knock on your door and hit you hard. So hard that you will remember these adventures for the rest of your life.

My favorite thing about travelling is not knowing what’s to come. And boy… did I really not know! Everything that I have experienced has happened only because I travel with an open mind to explore other cultures and meet new people. When you step off that plane, breathe the air of another country and take a step in the direction of unknown… when you lose control of what is going to happen… that by far is my favorite feeling in the world.

When travelling, keep your heart open to every opportunity to experience something new, something that will set your soul on fire and make your demons dance. If you have an opportunity to go on a crazy night out in Rome where you will end up walking home barefoot as you’ve danced for far too long… just do it! If you get offered a ride on a motorbike through the hills in Sardinia… just do it! My point is that you should never ever shy away when travelling, because you might miss out on opportunities to make memories all over the world.

Keep your eyes peeled for new posts about best tips when travelling to these gorgeous locations. Trust me, I have so much to tell and so many advises to give! In the meantime, keep it cool and book flights!

With love

Viktorija

My first SOLO trip

Oh wow! What an experience! No words can describe the liberating feeling you get while travelling solo. Looking back, it was one of the best experiences of my life that nobody can take away from me. But hell…. it was scary! So here’s how it went…

After travelling all night I finally landed in Cologne airport in Germany. Feeling completely lost but with an adventurous spirit, I made my way to the train station. While struggling to buy my train tickets, I already met some fellow travelers from England. Luckily, they had to travel to the same train station as me so we traveled together. When they realized that I’m traveling all by myself, they called me crazy! I heard this a lot since booking the flights. At some points I actually started thinking ‘Am I really being crazy?’ Hell no! I wasn’t crazy! I just did what a lot of people would never have the guts to do.

First tip for solo travel- stay in a hostel! This is the best place on Earth to meet fellow travelers! There is nothing worse that sitting in your hotel room all alone with less chance of meeting other people. In a hostel, you will meet a bunch of amazing people who share the same dreams and ambitions as you. I always use Hostelword and it has never disappointed me. Yes, sharing a room and bathroom with complete strangers might seem impossible for some people, but just try it at least once. It will show you a better way of traveling, trust me.

 

Wander! Switch off maps from your phone and go for a wander in a place you’ve never been before. I still remember that feeling of walking around Cologne and realizing that I AM HERE! I am here all by myself, nobody knows me and I can do whatever I want to! When that thought first hit me, I felt as if I was reborn. I was walking down the street, smiling and being the happiest person in the world. Although, for other people I probably looked like a crazy person that’s just escaped the mental hospital! But my God, I would not change that feeling for anything! I had prepared some ideas of the places I want to see in Cologne but most of the time I spent just wandering around and enjoying the feeling of being completely lost.

Get out of your comfort zone! Trust me, after your first solo trip, you won’t even have a comfort zone anymore! Talking to strangers can be very daunting, but just remember- no matter how embarrassing you can be, you will never meet those people again so just talk! On my first night in Cologne I decided to go to the bar that was adjoined to the hostel where I was staying. Never in a million years did I imagine I would go to a bar for a drink all by myself in a city where I don’t know anybody. It was incredibly uncomfortable at first as the bar was full of groups of young people and…… me, all by myself. After downing two pints of Cologne’s favorite beer, I finally started talking to people! Well, not really. People actually started talking to me! So… how did the night end? I ended up sipping customized gin cocktails in the best gin bar in Cologne with police officers! Yes!  You heard that right! I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, met some amazing people (who called me crazy when realized that I’m traveling alone) and made memories that will last me a lifetime! And all of that happened just because I went out and did it!

Talk to locals! This is the best way to learn about the place that you’re visiting and about their culture. It’s shocking how much I learned about Germany and Cologne by talking to people. Yes, using Google to find out things is great, but have you ever heard anybody say ‘Hey, remember that amazing time I asked Google….’? No? Neither have I! Small talk with strangers can lead you to some amazing adventures!

There is plenty of information that you can find online about traveling solo. However, my advice is just go and do it! No matter who calls you crazy! Yes, you need to have some sort of plan for your trip, but don’t over do it. Just wing it! Trust me, it’s the best way!

Remember- Just Go Adventure

Love, Viktorija

 

 

How I booked my first solo travel trip

Okay, here it goes! Yes! I finally booked my first solo travel trip! Was it scary? Hell yes! Am I going to go through with it? The biggest hell yes of my life!

I have always wanted to try solo travelling but the thought of being in a different country all by myself was scary. But also… very tempting! To be in a place where nobody knows who I am, to breathe the air in the new place for the first time. The thought of that makes the butterflies in my tummy fly!

How did I do it?

Considering I am a student on a typical student budget! 

I spent an entire evening comparing flight prices to all of the different destinations while my friend was watching Stranger Things right next to me! Yes, it sounds hard, but if you focus all of your attention to your phone and only occasionally look at the TV screen when she says: ‘OMG this is scary’, then you can follow what you’re doing.

At first I had to decide where my next adventure will be. This was the trickiest part. I started at just staring at the map and trying to figure out which places I would want to see. When I found some nice places, after checking the flights I found out that the flights were too expensive or some of the cheap airlines didn’t even fly there! After having the same disappointment  over and over again, I gave up and started to look at the places where I have already been. At this point my fear was telling me: ‘Yes, you know this place and you know that it would be safe!’ For example, flights and accommodation to Amsterdam were ridiculously cheap and I almost booked it. But then I kind of kicked my fear in the butt and thought: ‘No, I want to breathe a new air for the first time and experience that fear of solo travel in the unknown places!’ Then I started to look at different flights again. I have always wanted to go to Iceland, but the prices were way out of my budget. So that was an instant NO!

Looking through the map wasn’t getting me anywhere. Now I took a different approach. I scanned through cheap airline pages and looked at their destinations and picked out a random place I haven’t ever heard of. The price was student budget friendly! Bingo!

But wait? Before I book it, I need to make sure that I can find a hostel that’s not going to cost me every single penny that I have! This can be tricky as some places will have wonderfully cheap flights, but the accommodation prices can actually make you cry. So I used my favorite travel tool – hostelworld.com

I couldn’t believe my luck when I could find CHEAP and NICE hostel with great reviews! This felt like a sign from the universe! So what did I do? I just booked it! Without worrying about transfers and how expensive it could be to eat there. This probably wasn’t the smartest approach when booking a first solo travel experience but I just went with my gut.

Research time!!! Ohh how relieved I was to find out that getting around Cologne, Germany is easy and the place is actually magnificent! I already feel like I’m with one foot there. I have five weeks to figure out how trains work over there to make sure I can get to the hostel from the airport. Also, I really hope that they have early trains as my flight back is at 6 AM in the morning and my budget wouldn’t be impressed with a taxi fare! Also, cutting down on my spending and saving up a little bit of money for my trip would be helpful! But it’s not like I’m going tomorrow is it? I still have 5 weeks.

I still get a little bit scared when I think about my upcoming trip, but I can’t wait for this life changing experience of travelling solo!

Keep your eyes peeled and watch this space to see how I get on!

Wish me luck!

Yours sincerely

Viktorija

JUST GO ADVENTURE!

WORLD IN COLOURS

Autumn is like Marmite- you either love it or hate it. I’m a big autumn lover! I adore the wet and windy nights! The way how Autumn proves that it is beautiful to let things go. But that’s not it. I love the world in Autumn colors! All the beautiful sights that you only get to see once a year. Just like the magic hour on the clock! Probably that is the main reason why you’ll see me outdoors more in Autumn than any other time of the year- just to catch a glimpse of the beauty that the world has to offer.

At this time of the year I feel closer to the nature than ever. It awakens my soul and inspires me to do beautiful things. If I’m feeling upset, just give me a quiet spot with a simple view of gorgeous trees with colorful leaves and I will be just fine. If you’re ever feeling lonely or in doubt, just turn to nature. It will be the cheapest and best medicine of them all! You will be surprised how quickly you will fall in love with it! Trust me- exploring the beauty of this world becomes addictive once you start.

Please, don’t underestimate the power of seeing the world in all it’s glory! Go outdoors, adventure, explore and most importantly – find yourself in this messy world!

 

JUST GO OUT AND ADVENTURE!

Happy Autumn everyone!

With love

Viktorija

 

EUROPEAN ROADTRIP

Hello fellow travelers and adventure seekers!

I know I have kept telling everyone that my new post is coming out soon, but it’s crazy how busy I have been and I’ve not had time to work on my blog at all. Apologies! However, on the bright side, I have some great news! I have started uni! This was never the plan for this year, considering I only applied to uni few weeks before starting date. It’s absolutely unreal and I still have to pinch myself every day to realize that it’s really happening. But set all of that aside, I have finally published my European Roadtrip post!

I am back from my two month venture in Europe and my God! What an experience! Seeing so much of different countries and cultures is an eye opener. I have so many stories to tell! However, this post will not be about me. There are some tips and advice that I want to share with you if you are preparing for an European road trip.

There is no feeling like freedom when travelling. Being able to pack whatever you want, put it in the boot of your car and just set off! The freedom to change your route, stop wherever you wish, and see whatever you want. After this trip, I have fallen madly in love with the idea of road trips and I am sure that you will too, once you do it.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE EXPENSES

Yes, the freedom of a road trip is the best thing about it! However, there will be some things that you will need to book in advance to save yourself an absolute fortune! If you’re crossing The Channel then I strongly suggest that you pre-book your ferry tickets. The price difference in booking in advance or buying the ticket last minute will definitely shock you! Also, book your hotels or hostels (unless you’re camping) in advance if you’re planning to stay in big cities. Getting rooms last minute in Amsterdam for example, is near to impossible on the night. So do some research, decide on the dates that you’re going to be spending in cities and book. My favorite  site for hotels is booking.com, but if you’re more of an adventurous soul and like the idea of hostels (I absolutely adore them) then the best place to book is hostelworld.com .

Toll road research is also a must! You will come across at least one toll road through your journey. If you’re not aware of it, and haven;t paid for it, then you are in for a shock when you will get a fine sent through the post. Don’t assume that just because you’re in a different country, you won’t get a fine. Rest assured- you definitely will get it through your letterbox sooner or later.

Be vary of petrol prices as they can change drastically from one country to another! I suggest you fill up your car in Dover (if travelling from England) and then get on the ferry. Petrol prices in Belgium and Germany can be more expensive than you think! Also, petrol prices on the motorways are usually higher than they are in town and cities. If you have one on the way to your next destination, I would advise you to fill your car up there, rather than motorway petrol station. It can work out cheaper if you need to fill up your tank full few times. If you want to make your road trip as cheap as possible, do some research before you go.

Make sure you pack some food with you that would be suitable to eat in a car! If you will stop at petrol stations every time that you will feel a bit hungry, your expenses will go up drastically. But be careful on what you pack! I would advise some fruits, water and biscuits/crisps. Please, don’t start packing sandwiches, because trust me, in the heat (if it’s a summer road trip) last thing that you will want to put in your mouth will be bread!

CHECK YOUR  CAR

This is a must and not to be left out! Make sure you get your car to the garage before your road trip! It seems quite obvious thing, but in the excitement of planning such a trip, it is easily forgotten about. You have to make sure that you leave yourself plenty of time to do this, as your car might need some things fixing. This can take up more time than you think.

Air-conditioning! Oh please don’t make the same foolish mistake that I made. I didn’t check my air-conditioning! Considering British weather, you don’t use it often, so some of you might still not know that your A/C might not be working. Please get it checked out! The last thing you want in your road trip is driving in 33°C heat with no A/C! Trust me, it’s not fun at all!

Make sure that your car is equipped with everything that is necessary by law in ALL of the countries that you will be visiting. Make sure that you have basics such as spare tire, fire extinguisher, high visibility jacket, emergency triangle. first aid kit etc. All of the information of what you will need is found at https://www.rac.co.uk/pdfs/driving-abroad/driving-abroad-checklist. Please, also check each country’s requirement separately as some of the items that we deem as ‘recommended’ might be ‘essential’ in other countries, such as breathalyzer, which is essential in France!

If you are starting your journey from UK, don’t forget to adjust your headlights! You can end up with a hefty penalty if you don’t do it! You can order stickers from eBay, that you simply stick on your headlights when boarding a ferry.

HAVE A ROUTE  PLANNED

Yes, the best part of road trip is that magnificent feeling of freedom! However, make sure you plan your route. You can always take detours or stop somewhere that you didn’t originally plan to stop. But make sure that you know where you’re going! This way, you can figure out approximately how many miles you will drive on your journey. This will allow you to figure out how much money you will be spending on petrol. Also, you will be able to work out how long it will take you to get from A to B. Don’t forget to add few more hours to each part of your journey for traffic jams, stops and detours.

If you will be driving through Germany, I would advise to plan your trip carefully. Try to avoid driving through Germany on weekdays! Weekends id the best time to drive through this country and enjoy the smooth ride! This is because there are very few lorries on the roads, which makes the journey more enjoyable and there will so less traffic!

HAVE A BACK UP

Don’t rely entirely on your Sat Nav! It can stop working, or not load the map for a certain country. Make sure that you carry European road map with you! Also, memorize all of the biggest cities around your stopping points. In this way, if your sat nav stops working, you can follow the signs until you get to the city. This will give you a brief idea of where exactly in the country you are. Another thing that could prove to be useful in the road trip is a power bank! When you need to charge more than one phone, or if your car charger has stopped working, there is no better feeling than knowing that it’s all cool, only because you have a back up plan!

THE LEGAL BIT

When you’re planning on which countries you wish to visit, make sure that you check the entry requirements! Just because this is Europe, doesn’t mean that every country on this continent is a part of EU.

If you wish to bring back anything from your holidays, don’t forget to check how much of what you’re allowed to bring back. This can be found at https://www.gov.uk/duty-free-goods/arrivals-from-eu-countries.

ENJOY THE CULTURE

This is going to be the best part in your journey! Don’t be just the average tourist. Be a traveler and adventurer! Go off the track, talk to locals and enjoy the hidden gems. Definitely check tripadvisor as you can find some magnificent places that don’t get advertised! Learn few phrases for every country. Locals will love you when you try to say something in their language.

I hope that you have found this information useful and that you are finally taking the plunge and planning your road trip of a lifetime!

Have a great time guys!

Yours sincelery

Viktorija

Hello world!

Here I am… At the age of 23 I have finally had the courage to do what I’ve been dreaming about for years. I have finally started my own blog about what I love the most – travelling.

We live in such a beautiful world, but only few have the courage to pack their bags and let the adventure take over their lives. I would like to think that I am one of those people who aren’t scared to explore new places and be where I have never been before. I will never settle for the ordinary life. I crave much more…

I hope you join me and my blog, and enjoy the ride!

Sincerely

Victoria