The Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Far Flung Adventure

It doesn’t matter how settled you should feel, sometimes the urge to change up your lifestyle, pack a bag and escape the monotony of your home life can become too intense to resist. You may crave the sandy white beaches of Thailand, the Oriental splendour of China or you might want to go off the beaten track in Costa Rica. Wherever it is that you have a yearning to explore, you need to consider how you will plan for your far flung adventure.

Some people may state that you are too old or that you have too many commitments or that you’d be a fool for giving up such a well paid job or that you cannot hot foot it halfway across the world with hardly any disposable cash. While they may have a point, this doesn’t mean that you can’t sort out your finances, job, and commitments prior to leaving. You need to consider why it is that you want to leave town for a little while. The world is massive and is craving to be explored. You only live once, and it’s vital that you can venture to distant shores to get your wanderlust kicks. Take a look at this ultimate guide to planning your incredible trip of a lifetime.

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Finances

Before you even think about booking flights, you need to sort out your finances. You may head online to your bank account to see that you are in the red, using your overdraft every month and that you have very little savings to speak of. Don’t throw in the wanderlust towel. You simply have to knuckle down and make your finances healthier. In two months, you can be back in the black, overdraft-free and more comfortable.

One viable option is to look into borrowing responsibly. You can even apply for personal loans with bad credit. Don’t assume you are simply taking on more debt. You will be borrowing to consolidate your debt into a manageable monthly payment. This means when you are abroad, you don’t have to worry about checking your bank account every day to make sure random and sporadic debt repayments have been taken out.

Make yourself a budget that you can stick to and cut out the unnecessary luxuries that you have partaken in recently. You don’t need to pick up that almond croissant and caramel latte on the way to work every Friday and drinks after work don’t need to consist of three rounds. Shave your expenditure and put any amount that you can save into a travel nest egg or towards paying off some of your debts.

If you are venturing overseas, you want to make sure that your finances are well managed. This doesn’t necessarily mean being debt free, but it does mean that your repayments are covered so that you are more free to enjoy your travel experiences.

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Itinerary

While you like the thought of being spontaneous, heading to the airport and hot footing it onto the next plane out of the country, it may be more effective in the long run to spend some time planning your trip. For many countries, you need to look into vaccinations, visas, and documentation. There’s nothing worse than hot footing it to China, only to discover that you don’t have the correct visa and that you have to return to good old Blighty. Spend the time researching your destination of choice and construct at least a skeleton itinerary. It can be difficult to strike the perfect balance between a comprehensive plan and a shoddy itinerary. Aim for something in between, that gives you time to wander off the beaten track a little. Venturing abroad should be exciting, but this exhilaration can slip if you don’t have accommodation sorted. Head online and book your hostels or hotels for every night you are away. This way, you can be sure of a safe place to rest your weary bones every night.

Check out the destinations you want to hit and make a flight plan. Don’t try and head to too many cities in a short space of time. You want to enjoy the places you visit, immerse yourself in the culture and enjoy meeting new people. If you are only ever in one place for two days, you’ll never learn what the destination is really like. Spend a week or two somewhere, get to know the locals, maybe pick up some work and enjoy living like a native.

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Learn The Lingo

Even if you are only heading abroad for three months, it still pays to learn the language of the destination you plan to visit. If you are heading to Japan, the locals will appreciate the fact that you have learned the basics of the language before you set foot in a temple or when you are trying to order sushi at a restaurant. Being able to converse on a more meaningful level, rather than trying to shout or speak more slowly in English, shows that you value their culture and customs, and can result in you forming more meaningful relationships with the people that you meet.

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Source Deals

While you don’t want to scrimp when enjoying your trip of a lifetime, there are some simple ways that you can ensure that you are sourcing the best deals. Venture onto comparison websites for flights and accommodation. If your willing to head to hostels and share a dorm, the cost of keeping a roof over your head can be minimal.

When checking out flights, consider flying at awkward times to save hundreds on your tickets. Sure, you might be jet lagged for an extra day, but you will have an extra wad of cash in your pocket to enjoy on an excursion, a foodie experience or to spend an extra night in a destination.

Trying to scratch that wanderlust itch can be frustrating. However, with excellent planning, thorough preparation and a willingness to save money where you can, you could end up hot footing it on the trip of a lifetime.

*this is a collaborative post

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Jordan 2018 Video

wadi rum

This is shaping up to be a good week for me finishing things, right? As you may have been able to see on my blog last year, I made my annual trip to Jordan.

The main difference with this trip was that Topher’s sister Emma came with us. She’d never been to the Middle East before (unless you count a stint in Abu Dhabi’s airport) so she was keen to cross it off the list.

As I did with the last trip, I made a video. I love doing them and it’s a great way to look back on the memories. You can check out the finished video on Youtube here:

If you want to read more about our travels on this trip check out my posts:

Dead Sea

Wadi Rum

Petra

Amman

Have you ever been to Jordan?

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Florida Scrapbook – I finally finished!

So it finally happened. I finished my Florida scrapbook. The one I started in 2016. For a trip that happened in 2015. Procrastinate much? Why yes I do!

I think it may have been because I put it on my 19 for 2019 list that made me bite the bullet and get it done. It’s not my best work by far but done and good is better then perfect but unfinished.

Check out my latest pages. Btw half of these I already did a couple of years ago but forgot to show you. Oh well.

If you want to see the previous pages check out my first post and my second post.

We tried every type of butterbeer!

A stupidly simple spread but I had too many photos of everyone in their Hogwarts robes.

There were so many details I wanted to remember about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal hence all the little notes!

This spread makes me laugh so much. It has the whole story of Adam discovering an American “salad” bar and loading up his plate with spaghetti and meatballs only to be reminded that he ordered a burger for his main.

Now this is actually where I restarted the project in 2019. You might be able to tell as it’s all a little rushed!

And here you’ll be able to see why I was still pretty damp when Topher proposed to me, ha ha. Gotta love a water ride.

This photo of the guys makes me laugh every time I see it. I loved their posing under the Betty Boop sign so of course added in some girly stickers to match.

I had these patterned cards picked out for a long time now so it was nice to finally get them stuck down. I can’t believe how much Animal Kingdom has changed since we visited. Can’t wait to visit this year!

Another park that has changed loads since we went. Can you tell I kinda just gave up on the right hand page?

I only had these two photos left from the trip so they got their own pages and I’m not mad about it. Especially the one on the right because that makes me smile.

Though this trip was a few years ago now the memories are still fresh as it was such an amazing holiday. It was already the best holiday every and the fact that Topher and I got engaged on it was just the icing on the cake.

I’m so happy that I finished this scrapbook as not only is this the first one I’ve ever completed but that it was for something awesome that I want to be able to look back on.

So there’s something ticked of my 19 for 2019 list!

Have you ever made a scrapbook?

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#BEDN Day 2: Travel

#BEDN Day 2: Travel

Travel is a big part of my life and I consider myself very lucky to have visited over 30 countries in my 30 years on this planet. One of the places I’ve visited the most over the years is Amman, Jordan. I’m half Arab and have a rather large family that resides there so every year I go to visit.

This year was a bit different. Topher was doing all the touristy things for the first time (his third trip to Amman itself) and also his sister Emma was coming for the very first time. We had a blast and I wrote about all our touristy travel adventures here:

The Dead Sea

Wadi Rum

Petra

So this is the final instalment of our general wanderings in the city of Amman itself. Jordan may not be at the top of your travel bucket list but it’s definitely somewhere you should consider visiting once in your life.

The Boulevard

Arabs love their shopping malls. So we tend to go to a lot of the ones Amman has to offer. I remember when the first one was built when I was a teen. My cousin and I loved shopping and used to go all the time when I visited. The Boulevard is an outdoor shopping street which is very pretty and always has something going on. Plus this time I noticed loads of street art has popped up since I was last here.

amman - the boulevard

Taj Mall

This is our local mall and has everything we need including a cinema. How cool is this back to school display?

amman - city mall

Amman Citadel

When you think of the Middle East, you don’t tend to think about the Romans but they were definitely here!

amman - citadel

amman - city view

Somewhere downtown

amman - street art

Definitely downtown

amman - greenery

I’m seeing more and more tourists in the past few years and it’s pretty cool to see. I don’t tend to venture downtown much as I spend a lot of time with my family but it was nice to have a wander this year.

amman - alley

amman - bunting

The instagrammer in me was very excited to see these colourful steps!

amman - steps

On our first night we went to a concert in the Roman amphitheatre which was really awesome. Literally sitting in history.

ampitheatre

concert

Next year will be the first year I won’t be able to go so bring on 2020!

Where’s your favourite place to travel?

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Petra, Jordan

Petra, Jordan

Last stop on our tourist jaunt down south in Jordan; Petra. I’ve done a photo diary of Petra the last time I went which you can check out here. To be honest the quality of the photos is a hell of a lot better in that one. Probably because I wasn’t slowly melting in the August sunshine that time. I mean, I actually wore jeans back then. So top tip: go in April or at least avoid the summer unless you enjoy finding out the temperature when you start cooking.

If you can only go in the summer then at least go in the morning. We finished about lunchtime and to my horror I saw loads of American tour groups just starting their trek. Good luck guys.

So we arrived at Petra around midday where we took full advantage of the hotel. We stayed at the Petra Marriott and had a swim and a sleep before having a traditional bedouin dinner and watching the sunset.

Petra - dinner

Petra - sunset

So you may be thinking the evening was over but it was then time to head out again. Petra now offers a chance to see The treasury portion of this wonder of the world at night. It’s ticket only and they are limited. You gather at the entry gate and all then follow a guide to get to the treasury.

Petra - lanterns

We were advised to hang back and let the initial crowd go first by someone at the entrance but we disregarded it and stayed very near the front of it. And I’m glad we did because we got a chance to take photos before there were too many people. Plus large groups of tourists have an annoying habit of never turning the flash off on their cameras. So much flash photography!

Anyway, the photo above is before the swarms arrived and the ones below are when they ran out of room and had to seat people between the lanterns in front of us.

Petra - night time

We were waiting for awhile and I’m not sure exactly what we were waiting for – we thought a show? Turned out it wasn’t much of a show. A man played a flute and then told a very short story about the history of Petra. We did get some bedouin tea though. I think the whole thing could have been organised a lot better. And the £17 aprox price tag per person is pretty steep for what you got as it’s not included in your regular Petra ticket price. If you want to see the treasury at night then it’s worth it – just make sure you have a good camera and stay near the front of the crowd!

Petra - purple night

Anyway it was a fun little outing and we had to head to bed so we could wake up refreshed to see all of Petra in the daylight hours.

After a very filling hotel breakfast we checked out of our hotel and set off to the Petra welcome centre. As I said in my previous post about Petra, the main trail is about a 3 mile walk so we came prepared. Comfy shoes, giant obnoxious sunhats for Emma and I, while the others opted for something a little more local. If you buy a headscarf from one of the stalls in the welcome centre, they will help you put it on in the traditional way. It made spotting Topher and my family easy in a crowd.

Petra - headscarves

I didn’t take many photos in the canyon because my camera crapped out despite having charged it the night before. Lesson learned: always bring extra batteries! I just used my phone for the rest of the day.

Petra - almost there

I love getting that first glimpse of the treasury through the gorge walls – makes you feel like you’re on an adventure!

Petra - first sight

Petra - treasury

People tend to think Petra is just the treasury section above but actually it’s massive. All the photos below are everything else you can find.

Petra - big rocks

You tend to also forget about all the Roman influence in the Middle East but here stands living proof that they were here so many years ago.

Petra - ampitheatre

It’s crazy to think that people used to live in these caves below up until the 1980s.

Petra - caves

It was so cool to walk along this Roman road.

Petra - roman road

We actually made it all the way to the end of the main trail this time. If you have more time on your hands (and less sunshine!) there are plenty of hikes you can do on this site.

Petra - temple

Absolutely shattered we made it back to the car and headed back to Amman.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in my Jordan blogs: Back in Amman: Downtown.

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