TRAVEL

Life is an adventure and there’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Read articles on some of the best places in the world to visit with travel tips and not-to-be-missed experiences.Β 

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: HOLIDAY REJUVENATION

Get Away and Come Back with an even Greater Will to Succeed

Rejuvenation. Now that’s a bloody good word. It’s one that I’m particularly enjoying throwing around at the moment, but that’s honestly because it’s a word that I’m genuinely feeling right now. 

I got married two weeks ago (*pause for applause*) and we had a couple of days in Portugal to decompress, eat pizza and generally not move, unless it was to eat said pizza or sip from a poolside cocktail. But we both ended up spending most of the time plotting and planning everything we wanted to achieve on our return. This sounds like I’m about to tell you we’ve decided to become ultimate comic book villains, but alas, no. 

beach holiday

After going through the truly agonising choice of rose or raspberry flavoured macaroon favours, then building the wedding playlist to beat all playlists, and top that with designing stationary that perfectly blended tattoo script with a countryside setting – and what you’re left with is a GREAT, BIG, WEDDING shaped HOLE in your life. 

Instead of getting bummed out about it, we realised now we’ve got an EPIC marriage to plan for. And that’s going to take some serious planning. Here’s some questions that feel easier answering while you’re away from the hectic everyday life at home – and “don’t call it a comeback” because this is simply about reaffirming what you probably already know, but making sure you live the life you want.

 

Holiday Rejuvenation – Don’t Call it a Comeback.

pool holiday

1. Where in the world do you still want to visit?

Bucket list time! I’ve already done mine (see 30 Things to do After 30). At the moment we are planning our honeymoon (which is looking like safari in Kenya then on to the Maldives *fist pump air*) and it’s really reminded us how good it is to have adventure holidays and to explore. Already I can’t wait to plan our next trip. Don’t waste your time or money going somewhere you don’t really love and feel desperate to experience (I know I have in the past). There’s a whole world out there and unless you are a permanent traveller, we normal folk need to use our holidays wisely. 

2. Do you have some big life purchases in you? 

Then you need to earn serious money. FACT. Don’t get me wrong, I am more motivated by life experiences that owning fancy things, but at the same time it would be nice to roll around town in a cool car one day and welcome my friends into a beautiful home I’m proud of, plus those lovely life experiences also cost moolar. This should lead you into the next question nicely. 

beach holiday

3. What’s the end goal with the career? 

We’re not talking about a promotion next year or winning a dream client next month, this means: what is your ultimate boss role? Think ‘peak career moment’ and even be totally unrealistic about it – it’s your dream for goodness sakes! Now work backwards – how would you get there? It might not be as unrealistic as you thought. It will however, always take hard work, so be prepared and don’t settle, because you’ll only regret it. 

4. What have you done to promote yourself? (Especially important if you’re freelance, like moi!)

I am currently going through a business rebrand in terms of my service offering, with an entirely new website, sales packages and the all important business cards (need I remind you of American Psycho?) Having gone through my career and life goals I realised working backwards I needed to make it clear what I offer so I can win more clients. Simple really. 

Even if you’re not freelance, we live in a digital society where anyone is able to have their own personal brand. Just think, if you’re known in your industry for being an absolute queen (or king) at one thing in particular, you might just get head-hunted for a job you hadn’t even thought of, but could be perfect for you!

5. If you haven’t already, do you want to start a family?

OK, so this is a big one, and a very personal one, and for that reason alone not that much needs to be said on it – because each individual and circumstances are completely different. However, if you are making some serious career / life / travel plans, and you do want to start a family as well, then it’s worthwhile considering it all together, while you are away and have a clear head. 

 

sand beach

Proper Grown Up – Be Yourself, No One Else Can

Holidays are like therapy; they allow you to break away from the norm and think about the bigger picture. They have always helped me re-evaluate my life and I often come back and make major changes when I get back – just ask any of my old bosses! (See this old Break Away post from 2015). After all is said and done, life is short, so just make sure you’re doing what makes you happiest. 

life quote

Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years. I’m rocking my peers. Puttin’ suckers in fear.

 – LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out

How to earn money while travelling some of the best destinations across the globe.

When you are in your late twenties or early thirties the idea of taking out a full year for travelling can seem difficult for many. Taking that long a time off can feel like a set back in your career. However, what if you could earn and travel, meaning you get all the juicy life experience, whilst working your professional skills and keeping that CV glowing? There are millions of ways to work abroad, but here’s 9 nifty ways to earn and travel. 

traveller

9 Nifty Ways to Earn and Travel

1. Teach in South Korea

Can you speak a language, any language? And have you got a degree? Then you can most likely travel to a country that doesn’t speak it as their first language and teach it there. A friend of mine went to South Korea and did this in a school and absolutely loved it. She had her own apartment, absorbed herself into Korean culture and made lots of friends for life. If you can play an instrument you could also teach music! Duh!?

2. Work in Tourism in Ibiza

Again, I have friends that do this! They spend their summers abroad in Ibiza when the tourist season is high, the clubs are booming and the sun is OUT. Starting off by selling tickets on the beach is hard graft, but this how my friends began their careers abroad – and if you go for this, don’t forget your factor 50. However, after years of building a life for themselves on the white isle, these ladies now have jobs in accommodation, radio and one even has her own business, Below Zero – which does incredible rolled ice cream if you’re interested (OF COURSE you’re interested!). The job opportunities in tourism abroad are endless and you’ll meet plenty of like-minded party people if it’s somewhere like Ibiza that you’re headed for.

3. Freelance Online whilst European City Hopping

This is what actually gave me the idea of this blog post. A few weeks back I kept getting targeted by Facebook ads for a company called ‘Remote Year‘. This is a crowd funded enterprise that offers around 50-80 people to go on a round-the-world trip of a lifetime each year. The beauty of it is that everyone who is accepted is a freelancer, or ‘remote worker,’ and Remote Year will organise accommodation, flights and activities, as well as stylish spaces for co-working each day.

This is a great set up as it’s all planned for you, but also a little restrictive I would imagine (?). Don’t forget, you could still do all that Remote Year offers, all by yourself. It means putting in a bit more work but also leaves you with a lot of freedom to do what you want. Plus, that way, you’ll get to meet new people every day and be able to change your travel plans at the drop of a hat. Basically, if a lush looking bloke asks you if you want to head to the coast for a few days, you can. And you don’t have to worry about wasting money, or missing out on something else elsewhere.

If you’re wanting to work remotely, online, you better have a very understanding boss that sees the benefit of your personal development, or a great bunch of loyal clients that don’t mind not seeing you face-to-face for a while. If you start to struggle while you’re away, hit up local places to where you are staying that need English translations for menus, or try sites like Upwork and Elance for remote project work. 

paris travel

Henrique Ferreira
 

4. Pick Fruit in Australia

Australia is famed for it’s fruit picking jobs for tourists. The Working Holiday Visa in Australia entitles you to work and live for up to one year, with no longer than six months per employer – it literally encourages you to travel around! But, if you want to stay another year you have to do some sort of farm work. Enter: ‘Fruit Picking’. Picking fruit is tough – Australia is hot, but everyone’s in it together and at the end of the day if you can head to along to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches for a beer and surf after work, it really doesn’t seem so bad after all. 

5. Au Pair in Sweden (for the younger readers)

Why Sweden? It’s got one of the best gigs going for au pairs, especially seeing as it’s otherwise quite and expensive place to visit. As an au pair in Sweden your accommodation and food is included, your host family pay for you to study Swedish, giving you minimum expenses, plus you’ll be paid around Β£400 a month for 25 hours work a week, leaving you loads of free time to get out and about. 

However, if you’re over 30 like me, there’s still hope for being an au pair abroad – just head to Canada – they let you in ’til your 35! Here, you can work on your French and explore some of the most diverse landscape in the world. 

6. Entertain the Masses on a Cruise Ship

Obviously if you are talented at singing or dancing then this is your home from home, the stage is calling darling! Dancers and singers can often earn from around Β£1,150 a week upwards depending on experience. So if you can teach someone how to jive or have a quirky magical talent that would make a great show, you could be a higher earner. It is competitive though as there are only so many cruise ship jobs and there are many people looking to perform and travel. 

cruise ship

Linval Ebanks

7. Photograph the Variety of South America

Travel photography has to be one of the most incredible jobs you could have to earn and travel. Simply heading to places of beautiful untouched landscape or communities unspoilt by tourism and capturing it with your camera seems so simple but so blooming NICE. Obviously you will need to be talented at photography – that is the catch. And have already invested in the best (expensive!) equipment. Being the incredible job that this is means it’s also highly competitive. You need to be able to get unique shots that capture something emotive or tell a story. Not everyone has the talent for this.

South America is an ideal destination for travel photography. It’s full of culture, colour, vibrancy, heritage, wildlife and varied communities. There is so much to see, learn and do you could never get through it all. But I bet you could take an incredible photo that would tell a thousand words. 

travel photographer

Jakub Gorajek

8. Make & Sell from Bangkok

For someone with a knack for fashion or arts and crafts, a thriving marketplace of fabrics, trinkets and accessories is heaven. Bangkok’s outdoor Chatuchak market has over 15,000 stalls to browse along. If you are an artist or jewellery designer then being able to source some local supplies will give your items a real unique selling point and back story that sells itself. Plus, there are plenty of workshops for you to learn from the locals and hone your crafting skills to perfection – check out The Loom for silk yarn and weaving classes run by a family that has been working with silk for over 40 years. Sell alongside the locals in the marketplace or whack it on Etsy for the world to see whilst you continue to travel, learn and explore all that Thailand has to offer. 

bangkok travel

Ryan Tang

9. Blog your Travels all over the WORLD

Finally, here comes ‘the dream’. Heading to different places every month all over the globe to write about hotels, activities, architecture, food, drink, bleugh, blahh, blerr – it would all be wonderful, wouldn’t it? If you have a passion for culture, a talent for writing or photography and a strong work ethic then could be the work-life balance for you. Again, it is so competitive. So seek out the untapped destinations and write about the unusual angles in order to stand out from the crowd. 

travel blogger
rawpixel.com
 

Where in the world would you love to explore if you had endless time and funds? 

 

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Career Crush: Travel, Work and Friendship

The summer time for many people means that the holiday you booked and planned months in advance is finally near. You get to go out and purchase new swimwear, research the best beaches and finalise your travel itinerary. 

We do this because let’s face it; work sucks. Holidays are when you switch off the work email and have fun with friends. But what if your holiday was your job, and your work colleague was your best mate? And you basically got paid to travel? Whaaaaaat?

Well that’s what Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman, or Tash and Dev as they call themselves, have achieved with absolute perfection, with their blog and brand, A Bikini A Day

A Bikini A Day Back Story 

It doesn’t sound like it was much of a rough starting point to the average girl living in the North East England as such, but it’s definitely a small-time to big-time success story. So, Tash and Dev were living and working in Hawaii shooting look books and videos for local swimwear brands. Sounds like a pretty good job so far, right?

Then they went travelling but kept their connections with the swimwear brands and started sharing pictures wearing said bikinis on the relatively new social network, Instagram. They took this simple idea and turned it into a fully fledged blog with travel and swimwear related content and named it, A Bikini A Day. Amassing a huge following this hobby quickly became a full-time job for both women.

A Day in the Bikini Life

OK so a comparison here would be helpful…

My social media: A snap of my lunch, quick video of my dogs and possibly a picture of my trip to the gym for good measure. 

Their social media: exclusive fashion party in the Hamptons, photoshoot on a beach in Turks and Caicos and definitely boat trips off the Amalfi coast. (I would love to share tons of their pictures but can’t because they aren’t my pics to share! – So head to their Instagram here or I have embedded a few Tweets of theirs throughout). 

This might make some people envious or slightly irritated. But these women are always working. The difference is they have managed to carve a career out of doing something they love and other people want too. In Tash’s own words:

“It’s a full-time, all-consuming job to be constantly creating content.” – Harpers Bazaar, 2016

Moral of the story is: find something you love and turn it into something that’s useful to other people too. 

A Blog that Works

With an endless stream of the type of share-worthy content everyone loves; from bikini reviews and healthy recipes, to the best suncreams and stylish beach bags, A Bikini A Day is a blog designed to fuel the ultimate traveller day dream. 

Starting out as photographers and bloggers themselves, Tash and Dev have continued to shoot and edit their own blog content, even with an audience well into the millions, located all across the globe. 

Making Waves

Tash and Dev now have their own bikini brand; Monday Swimwear. The reason for the name..?

“Because when you’re in a bikini on a Monday, you’re having a good day.” – Monday Swimwear

Fair play. As bikini experts they have managed to source the best fabrics in mix and match shapes and sizing to suit a variety of body shapes (only up to size 16 though I would mention as a downfall). But I really want one. They price at around Β£120 though, so this is unlikely for me. They also launched an activewear range; Monday Active and have multiple design collaborations with brands including Guess, Revolve and over in the UK, Missguided

Travel and Life Inspiration

If you’re looking for travel inspiration, or even if you have just booked a holiday, don’t forget to check in with A Bikini A Day blog as they have lots of tips for the best products for skin and hair protection in the sun as well as unique places to visit. Plus, if you have started working on a project with a friend that you love, just look at how it’s turned out for Tash and Dev – anything is possible. Dream big, work hard and have fun.

Girls’ Weekend in Barcelona: Pretty as a Picture

Spending a girls’ weekend in Barcelona is always appealing! This photo diary reminds me of just how picture perfect it was there, even in January. 

Dirty Thirty in Barcelona

I’ve been to Barcelona a few times, but never before in the winter. Going on the last weekend in January I wasn’t sure what to expect but a girl’s weekend in Barcelona during the gloomiest month of the year is always a good idea! Keeping the surprise was hard as it was for my friend Maddie’s 30th birthday. It turned out to be a perfect location with mild weather and sunny enough days for sitting outside while enjoy alcoholic beverages like laaaadies. 

girls' weekend in barcelona

View from our MH Apartments Opera Rambla balcony.

girls weekend barcelona

La Rambla.

(Way more hectic in summer).

girls weekend barcelona

The beach. Duh. 

girls' weekend in barcelona

View from Columbus Monument. (It’s a roundabout).

girls weekend barcelona

View of Columbus Monument. Near the port. 

girls' weekend in barcelona

Drizzly walks through the city.

girls weekend barcelona

Architectural oldness.

girls' weekend in barcelona

La Sagrada Familia.

Travel to Barcelona in Winter

Return flights to Barcelona on the last weekend in February are currently Β£82 from London and Β£103 from Newcastle. We stayed at the MH Apartments Opera Rambla – literally a few steps from La Rambla and a few bars (muy importante). The apartments were big with a small balcony and kitchen area (we ate out all the time, but it’s there if you need it!)

A spontaneous weekend in Barcelona would easily make the perfect romantic getaway for two if you’ve not organised anything for Valentine’s this year. 

Where’s you favourite winter city break destination? 

 

Ibiza Hen Do – Out of Season but Totally IN

Why consider Ibiza out of season. Girls’ weekend or hen do – there’s more to Ibiza than clubbing.

Hen do in Ibiza in October

OK, so for most people the thought of doing an Ibiza hen do when the clubs are all closed probably sounds like a fatal error (fatal for maid of honour, most likely). But for me it was awesome! I used to love clubbing when I was younger but it’s just not my scene any more. Ibiza is still one of the most beautiful, hedonistic and stylish places in the world, with an incredible food and drink scene, aside from the nightclubs. 

I was pretty lucky to get a very early mini hen do with my uni friends. Holly and I are both getting married next year and Sarah and Hannah spend half the year living in Ibiza – so they kindly invited us to join them for a long weekend catching up on the White Isle.  

What we got up to in Ibiza

Weather – for the Brits Abroad

In typical Brit style I think I checked the weather every day in the week leading up – as October can be a little colder and you should expect the occasional rain shower. However, we were really lucky (warning: smug pants are officially on throughout this post). It was hot and sunny every day. Weirdly warm for October, averaging about 26 degrees. Although, there was one freakish wind storm that lasted all of about 5 minutes but managed to devastate Sarah’s outdoor terrace – still, it provides a memorable moment!

What to wear – for the fashionable

We mostly wore jeans, cami tops and cardigans; so not the normal hot season look. I also had a dress, trainers and leather jacket as a dressier nighttime option (so no heels). It can get a bit cold at night but it’s still fine to sit out if you have a jumper / jacket. Day time was – bikinis! Ibizan style is pretty relaxed; think hippy chic, so printed flowing fabrics, jewellery and body paint or glitter tattoos. And real tattoos, of course. 

ibiza hen do

Staying and getting around

We rented a car, which worked out crazy-cheap (€40 for the long weekend – that’s €10 each). I’m thinking this was because it was out of season, but I’m sure it would still be worth it even at the height of season, especially for day time trips to quieter, picturesque beaches. 

We stayed at Hannah’s flat in Playa d’en Bossa, as she shared with five other people but most had either gone home for the season or were moving into different accommodation for the winter.If you’re going out of season it’s worth checking Air BnB! The first night we sat out on the balcony looking down the busy street towards the sea having a few drinks. Before we knew it, it was morning, which always happens with good friends you rarely see! 

Tapas Time

Tapas and cocktails is my ultimate food-drink power-combo and La Taberna del Parque was the boy. Even the most basic of tapas still taste incredible in Spain; potato croquettes literally rule my life on holiday. Do not underestimate the Spanish croquette. Meatballs, tuna tartare and chicken gyozas were on the table amongst many other tapas. Sarah was able to stomach a mojito picante – I had a sip and it’s pretty hardcore, and I normally like spicy stuff. Ibiza town is a great night out as you can wander from bar to bar enjoying wine, cocktails, bar snacks and tapas right into the early hours of the morning.

hen do ibiza

La Taberna del Parque

Bitchin’ Beaches

We spent most days sunbathing at beautiful beaches with little beach cafes and clear blue waters. My favourite was the small and rustic cove Cala Gracioneta. We picked up sandwiches made fresh to order at the local supermarket on the way and met up with some of Sarah and Hannah’s friends from Ibiza and chatted, sunbathed and snacked all day. So basically, yeh, it was bliss. 

hen do ibiza

Cala Gracioneta

Ibiza Sunsets

Watching the sunset is part of Ibiza culture; it’s about welcoming the night time and getting excited for the night life about to begin. We headed to Hostal La Torre after one of our beach days in San Antonio, which is incredible. The views are out of this WORLD and it’s styled in typical contemporary Ibizan restaurant/bar – i.e. white, chic and awesome. We ordered a bottle of wine and some bar snacks. Unfortunately the sky was a little hazy, so we saw the sunlight fade away behind the mist, which was still atmospheric but you can get better Ibiza sunset pictures on a really clear day. 

 

Hostal La Torre, San Antonio

More Food, Por Favor

Another amazing place to eat was Can Bass in San Josep. We drove here as it was a bit out of the way to where we were staying. The restaurant decor is incredible with giant hanging lampshades, cosy cushioned seating areas and an alfresco cocktail bar. We chose to sit outside even though the evenings do get a bit nippy in October, just because the style of the restaurant simply called for it! 

ibiza hen do

Can Bass, Sant Josep

Ibiza Hen DO IT!

Keeping a hen theme we played ‘Mr and Mrs’ one night, which I was reeeally bad at considering Pete and I have been together for 11 or so years :/ Luckily, being with people in the know we were able to see some beautiful parts of Ibiza and for me it was one of the best experiences I’ve had there. And we didn’t go clubbing! My phone memory was full whilst I was there so I could only use Snapchat so this video below is all I have to show – but it’s a pretty good summary of our trip.

My Next Ibiza Trip

I’ve decided to have my official hen do at home in Newcastle in June next year because (I think/hope) I will have quite a lot of people and I don’t want people to spend a lot; I just want them to have a really good time! But if you are planning a Ibiza hen do late in the season, definitely still consider October as you still get some sun, it will be cheaper and you can experience the more chilled side of Ibiza. 

I’ve still never watched the sun set at Es Vedra, which is one of the most iconic spots. It’s considered a very spiritual place, just off the coast of the island. 

ibiza hen do

Finally, I also saw this on my Instagram feed and this is somewhere I would like to stay when I go back to Ibiza. Because I’ll always return to Ibiza, even when I’m a Nana; because Ibiza never gets old, even if I do. 

ibiza hen do

Tropicana Ibiza Coast Suites, Playa d’en Bossa

January Ibiza Deals

After the high of Christmas and New Year comes dismal January, which is why lots of people like to plan their holidays now, but that means there are also a lot of deals to be had! Expedia currently has a trip from Friday 13th October for two nights at Β£164pp including return flights to London and a suite at the Tropicana.