A Very Special Day…

I am a tad worried that you are all getting fed up of me spouting on about how Antony & I went travelling for a year?! Well here I go again =D today we have been back two years! OMG I am in shock that it has been two years.
Horse painted like a Zebra.. why? Because the kids will never see a real Zebra.. Obviously.
On one hand it seems like just yesterday we were living out of our backpacks and off instant noodles. Things have slightly changed, no more instant noodles, and we are now literally about to buy our 1st house. With plans to go away again and live off the rent from our house in the future, frequently popping up in conversation.
Thai Tuk Tuks
With people telling me left right and centre about how they want to go travelling the only thing I ever say is GO (with a massive smile on my face) the skills and experiences you will learn and gain on your trip will be invaluable and the memories will stick with you for a life time.
Argentina to Chile boarder crossing
From my travel experiences I feel that I have become more grateful and aware of how lucky I am to be born British, for the free education to health care and of course freedom of speech. I realised this from seeing unbelievable poverty where poor families can barely eat let alone afford to buy the school uniform required to send their children to school, creating a cycle of poverty with no escape. I have become more determined to take every opportunity I have, to try my hardest and work hard to achieve my goals. To appreciate the ability to have and voice my own opinions and thoughts, a reason I started this blog, and to express them through styling work and to a certain extent how I dress myself.
Yurimaguas Port! Peru
Would I have realised this if I had not gone away? I don’t think so with out 1st hand experience its hard to relate to something that we have not experienced. I also gained confidence in our ability to get ourselves around continents where we didn’t speak the language to plan very route where few backpackers go and just do it, I almost even realised how brave we were… until I feel our of a hammock lol =D
Big Sur California USA
All I am really trying to say is that you will gain and develop skills that are not just important for every day life but also you career. The ability to communicate, flexible attitude and the ability to plan and budget. Whilst this all might sound quite serious you will see thing that you can’t even imagine meet all different sorts of people and think about all your adventure when your grey and old. By then you might even have great grand kids that haven’t heard all you stories and seen all the photos before! =D… JUST GO! 
 

Advertisements

The Best Thing I Ever Did….. Leave

Salt Flats Bolivia


 3 years ago now my boyfriend & I decided to leave…. well go travelling, he had been made redundant but had found another job and I just decided to quit mine. We decided almost on a whim where we wanted to go and both, luckily, wanted to go to the same places. Antony was going out 2 months before me to work on the national parks in America; I was staying here to earn a bit more money, as we weren’t planning on working whilst we were away. So I bit the bullet and moved back in with my Mum & commuted two hours a day to work, to try and save as much money as possible. 

We made it! Machu Pichu

 Booking our round the world tickets was one of the most exciting things I/we had ever done,(until we went away of course), and we celebrated with a much earned beer. I was 24 & Antony was 28 when we went away, and we both agree that it was the best thing we have both ever done. 



Ice Crevice Franz Josef Glacier

We had a loose itinerary and did most our research online for America, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil & Argentina. In total we spent 1 month together in America, doing Vegas was the highlight for me. The next 2 & half months were spent in South America where we did the Inca Trail, Slow Boat down the Amazon, The Bolivian Salt Flat & San Pedro Prison. Christmas & new year were spent in Rio where we dressed like locals all in white and gave offerings of brightly coloured flowers to the sea, we Samba the nights away, ate Acai to our hearts were content, we witnessed the energy of a new developing country. After Rio we moved to Ilha Grande a tropical island the reminded us of Lost, we hike the island, got caught out in tropical storms with water rising to our knees (we are both over 6tf!), running from the thick tropical rainforest onto the most beautiful if not wet desert beach I have ever seen, we thankfully caught the last boat back to the main part of the island, there are no timetables here, after shouting and running into the sea. In Argentina we experienced how nice and welcoming the locals were the force of Foz De Igagzu, got a taste for local wines in Mendoza on the famous bike tours and took part in siestas. Chile was a fleeting stop only in Santiago before we flew to New Zealand.










The Routeburn Track
Our Australasian journey started with 2 months in New Zealand starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch. We well and truly used our hiking boots by doing the Routeburn, Abel Tasman, Franz Joseph & Tongariro crossing. We camped for almost two thirds of our time there to save as much money as possible, really noticing the price difference to South America. In hind sight we both agreed that 6 weeks would have been more than enough time here and we would have spent the other 2 weeks in South America as there was soooo much we didn’t have time to do.




Terrance The Beast
The next 4 weeks were spent going from Sydney to Cairns, again on a tight budget we used relocation websites to find campervans and cars that needed to be moved up the coast conveniently to the places we wanted to go. This was by far the best way to travel as we diverted as much as we wanted and had a great time seeing places they don’t take you on buses. 4 weeks were enough to do the East Coast, and we found Australia extremely expensive, a bunch of bananas were £13!!! They grow them too! We did however get up close and personal with Kangaroos & went snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, one of my life ambitions.

Rice Paddies Of Sapa

The next 4 months were spent traveling around South East Asia. Our senses were bought back to life with almost overwhelming combinations of sights, colours, smells and sounds. Food became colourful again and our first meal in Singapore, Indian Curry eaten off banana leaves with locals, was so good I can almost taste it now. We had basically spent 3 months living of instant noodles, value bread and instant soup in Australasia. We spent 3 days in Singapore enjoying the Eastern and Western influences and feasting on amazing cheap, colourful & delicious food.
 

Sunset from our £5 per night beach hut in Thailand

Malaysia was our next stop, where we went to Kuala Lumpur and spent 3 days there, we stayed in a hostel which cost £2 each per night, located right next the one of the biggest markets in Asia quite a feat. We grew to like the hostel but to begin with I refused to touch anything and slept on a large scarf I had been using as a beach towel. Tioman Islands were our next destination; the island is STUNNING with white sand secluded beaches, no cars and no electricity. We enjoyed great cheap food, cheap accommodation and snorkelling, straight of the beach, to our heart was content. Penang a foody heaven was our next stop we weren’t over keen but it was a good base to get our Thai visas and to get into Thailand.

 

Elephant Ride In Cambodia- We made sure they were well looked after.
On arrival into Thailand we went straight to Koh Phangan for the full moon party. We decided we didn’t want to stay near the main strip as it was meant to be dirty and expensive. Instead we went to Hada Salad beach and found the most amazing beach huts right on the beach. The huts consisted of a double bed, bathroom and balcony with a hammock, it cost us £2.50 each per night, a bargain for amazing beach views and perfect peace. Our days before the full moon party were spent snorkelling and sun bathing uninterrupted and peaceful. The full moon party in my eyes was over rated with just a stupid mix of western teenagers & 20somethings getting stupidly drunk. But that’s just my opinion.

 

Angkor Wat Cambodia
The main highlights of our Asian experience were the Angkor Wat temples & Elephant ride in Cambodia and the laidback beach life & Captain Chims great food in Shilankovilla. Vietnam was a busy loud and bustling yet intriguing country with many great and beautiful places to see, we spent a month here but hiking in Sapa and our tour of Ha Long Bay were my favourite activities. Laos is the opposite of Vietnam; it is quiet, peaceful but just as intriguing. We saw stunning temples and even got caught in a landslide on top of a mountain, a point where I really thought our luck had run out, we spent around 2 & half weeks in Laos and felt very relaxed for it. The remaining two weeks we spent getting ourselves back to Bangkok for our return flight home. Our 1st experience of Bangkok was not great and we weren’t looking forward to returning, but we upgraded to accommodation with AC! (The 1st time in 4 very hot and sweaty months) thanks to a very lovely Christmas present from my Mum. It was also rainy season so the city was actually starting to look cleaner and was less busy. The notorious Koh San Road became our base for our last 4 days where we explored the area went to a roof top bar in our “best” clothes and just savoured our last few days of our epic journey.




Vietnamese Food.. All This for £5!
 

All in all we spent £10,000 each that’s including our round the world ticket.

We went to 14 countries in 10 months.

 We had the most amazing adventure and talk about it every day, even two years down the line. It is without the best decision I ever made and I think Antony would agree with me too. We have so many great memories that we can look back and think yes we actually did do all of that!
Me Feeling Very Tall In Sapa Vietnam

The two questions that I get asked the most are; would you do it again?


Yes I would love to do it again but probably for no longer than 6 months.

 
What was your favourite Country?


Almost impossible to choose from but my favourite continent was South America, I would love to go back to learn Spanish properly and hope to do so before or for my 30th Birthday!

How To Travel With Hand Luggage Only!!!

 

That’s right my top tip for saving money on your holidays is by only taking hand luggage. Most airline have a 10kg allowance which is LOADS, after traveling for 10 months my backpack weight only 10kgs, so I am sure you can survive a week =). Check out my short video to see how I survived a week on hand luggage.
 
 


A Week In Rome For Less Than £520

Yep you read the title right, a week in Rome for less than £520, well £513 to be precise. That includes flight, accommodation and £200 spending money!

Italy Rome-mobile

The easiest way of saving yourself some dollar is buy only taking hand luggage? Most airlines have a 10kg allowance for hand luggage, which is loads! By doing this you will save around £50 per person. Budget airlines (Easy Jet, Monarch, Ryan Air) etc have promotions on throughout the year to get you to book your flights as early as possible. I booked my flight in December to go to Rome in May; it doesn’t pay you to wait until last minute to get cheap flights.

Fresh Croissants & Coffee for Breakfast! YUMMY
For accommodation I used a new website called Air BnB, where people can rent out their whole apartment, rooms etc all over the world. It worked out much cheaper than staying in a hotel; we also had access to a kitchen if we wanted to use it. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to meet local people, get of the tourist track and save a bit of money whilst still living it up in lovely accommodation.

Santa Marinella Beach Rome


Insurance I found for 1 year for £25 online with comprehensive cover, I myself didn’t need to buy it as I bank with Nationwide so get it free. Make sure you get you EHIP Card which will get you medical attention at local rates, instead of highly inflated foreign rates, if something did happen. The card is FREE and this link will take you to the right page, https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startApplication.do

Vatican Gallery- Rome

We went to the Vatican galleries where the Sistine chapel is and decided not to book online as there was a 4 euro booking fee per person. The queue moved fast and we seemed to get in just as quick as the people who booked online. It was busy though and if I were to go in high season I think it would be best to book.


Vintage Fiat 500, Rome

Airport parking we found and booked well in advance to get it as cheap as possible, we used a private company who offered a free shuttle bus to the terminal and pick-ups when you landed, they were a quarter of the price as the official airport parking and only a 10 minute drive from the terminal.

This week I will show you how to pack enough outfits for a week keeping well in the 10kg allowance!



Have You Ever Seen?

 
Today is begining of my “Travel Week” in-spirit to the amazing bank holiday weekend we have just had and my imment Rome trip. Travel is one of my great passions and a great inspiration, I love experiencing, seeing and learning about different cultures. I love going to a new place and not knowing what you are going to find.
 
Crochet Trees- Istanbul
 
I have recently been to Istanbul for a long weekend. Where we found these crochet trees!? I love the texture combination and the fact that someone crocheted a Tree!
 


Travel + Fashion + Internet = ……..

 
Prada Resort Collection 2013
 

The world is becoming smaller every day, we now think nothing of hoping on a plane for a long weekend, I included. The 1st commercial flight was in 1914! Almost a hundred years ago and boy has it changed. Freddie Laker was the first no frills airline in 1977, making flying more accessible to everyone.
Vintage Airline Travel
 
Travel has long been an inspiration for designers. The increase in travel affected fashion by creating the cruise or resort collections. Exotic locations are used on shoots more frequently than not, Sir Norman Parkinson was the 1st British Photographer to shoot on location. Fashion weeks are held in four main cities in the world with the who’s who of fashion attending them all. With clothing souvenirs bouught back from exotic locations this also began to change fashion.
Sartorialist
 
The 21st century equivalent of that is the internet, social media, fashion bloggers, street style snappers, 24hr news and of course Facebook. The world is smaller; we can share our live with our friends all around the world like we saw them every day. The effect of this on the fashion industry has already been huge, with top bloggers becoming fashion faces with the power of the “people” behind them they have managed to create successful careers in a semi closed of industry. Street style fashion has never been more popular with people hanging around the top must see place to get snapped, the Sartorialist and Tommy Ton are infamous, affecting the way people dress. Tommy loves to focus in on accessories or just small areas rarely the whole outfit, which has made people decide to wear disjointed outfits.
Photographer Tommy Ton
 
The internet has created a new role in the fashion industry giving more people a voice making it the next big thing since 1914!

Body Adornment- Art of Journeys

Line Art by Rachael Sadler
Have you ever been stuck in traffic, delayed on a train on stuck on a bus thinking about all the time your wasting on the journey? Of course you have, so have I, so I decided to document my journey’s by drawing them. Not in the traditional way, but by letting the movement of the journey draw itself. I used a mix of different paper and ink, my favourite outcome was achieved using blotting paper and fast flowing black ink pens.

Line Art by Rachael Sadler
From the drawings I also recorded the snippets of conversations I overheard to give a sense of surroundings and a the piece of work its own voice.

Line Art by Rachael Sadler
Finally I then recreated my favourite journeys, 6 in total, into different large scale wire and button body adornments or living art. They all were designed to link in together. Originally designed as body adornment but now displayed as art on my wall.. I love it but would love to know what you think?


My Vintage Ride

Spam VW Campervan
I spend A LOT of time driving and have been known to give the odd gesture when a car is on the motorway & driving at 50mph! IN THE MIDDLE LANE, I am not a happy bunny. However on the way home tonight a long que of traffic was forming in the slow lane, as I over took them, I saw the cause was a VW Camper van, instantly a HUGE smile came on my face and I found myself saying, out loud, soo cool, I love you, I am not exaggerating lol. It was from what I could tell a orange colour with sea creatures on the front coming down the side. I am not bothered about cars at all as long as it goes I couldn’t care less what I am driving, but a VW is different. I love the way people spend ages customising them to fit their own personality & lifestyle. They are an extension of you I believe, My boyfriend & I often joke that we should just spend our house deposit on one and live on the drive =D.
 
Here are some of my favourite VW camper van designs!
Cool Flower VW Camper van
Fire VW Camper van

This is properly what I’ll end up with =D

VW Camper van Side Cart

My Inspiration

 
Last month I shared with you the inspiration of some of the designers from London Fashion Week. They range from travel to random women, literally. To carry on with the theme I am going to share with you my Inspiration. The image below was inspired by a bus journey in Birmingham- The women in question was wearing MASSIVE “Gold” hoop earring’s, full make-up and an Adidas Tracksuit, with one leg rolled up. For some reason I could not get her image out of my head and was fascinated by how I thought she perceived herself- In my head she saw herself as a smart business women, so I combined the Adidas Tracksuit with smart tailoring and Menswear. Random I know, don’t judge me lol =D.
 
It is hard to say what really inspires me as inspiration can come from all over the place. The Paint shoot seen Below was inspired by photos of the Indian festival Holi.
 
I have travelled a lot and I just love all the different things that you see on the way. I am not talking about staying in some swish hotel I mean backpacking here.
 
For “The Cat & Mouse” Shoot the idea simple started with the photographer wanting to use all black clothing, he was inspired by the Catwalk shows that were on at the time.
 
 
Another source of inspiration for me is the film “The September Issue”, I did this a separate blog about so I wont go into detail.
 
 
So what I would really like to know is where do you get your inspiration from?
 


Escapism…. Foz Do Iguacu

Now you will be forgiven if you though this was a photo of your local canal with all the rain we have been having over the past couple of months, but it is actually Foz Do Iguacu the Brazilian side. The sheer force and power of this waterfall, the largest in South America, is unbelievable, the photo does it no justice.
There is a walkway that you can walk along which is at the base of the waterfall at the most powerful part Devils Peak. You came out pretty wet! Its amazing and even wetter than England!