Choosing a Travel Partner Is Like Playing a Game of Roulette

Sugar Loaf Mountain- Rio De Janeiro 2014

Sugar Loaf Mountain- Rio De Janeiro 2014

Travelling with someone can no doubt be a wonderful experience creating such a bond that will tie you together forever. However, as much as it has the potential to be the most incredible time of your life, sadly there’s an equal possibility of it being devastating and consequently the worst. You know how people always say that you never truly know someone until you live with them? Well, the exact same concept can be applied to the travelling world. If you think you already know your travel partner well, be ready to get to know them extremely well! You will come to know all of your partner flaws and you need to be able to deal with them at your worst.

I travelled for 5 weeks throughout Brazil with a friend from my University course. Yes, we’d been friends for 4 years, spent a few lectures a week together, went out clubbing and enjoyed muffin breaks during our all-nighter library stints but we didn’t have a clue how well we’d suit as travel partners. Not even in the slightest! But truth be told, we were incredibly lucky. Despite being almost complete opposites; her being a ridiculously early bird and me living on a natural alarm clock, her loving physical acitives (ie, climbing mountains) whilst I’d happily get a train to the top (if there was one) – We just worked. It was full of laughs and adventures from the very start and incredible memories were created as a result!

So what made us great travel partners?

 1. Not being ‘joined at the hip’ – We were comfortable enough to be independent and had no problem spending a couple of days doing our own thing! At some point of the trip you will want to do different things. Don’t see this as a sign of your incompatibility as travel companions but rather as an opportunity to enjoy some alone time. 

2. Flexibility & Spontaneity – Sometimes plans fall apart so better ones can come together. We had a ‘rough guide’ of where we wanted to go but we were both open to changes and spontaneous trips as other travellers began suggesting places we’d never heard of or considered! Be flexible and spontaneous!

3. Shared responsibilities – Whilst one of us was great at map reading, the other could speak some Portuguese, so together (despite still getting lost,) we could get by pretty well. Enjoy making use of each others strengths and work together.

4. Humour – Travelling will not all be smooth sailing – Chances are you’ll lose something, get travel sick or have a disaster like somehow missing your flight and having your phone stole in the same day (guilty), but you have to be able to laugh it off. Time spent dwelling on the past is time wasted – You are on an adventure after all!

5. Patience & Forgiveness – We were patient with each other and didn’t hold on to little things. You will be spending a lot of time together through hunger, emotional turbulence, lack of sleep etc so be patient. This is the time to be your most forgiving self!

6. Compromise – the main factor. Luckily, most of the time we were in sync with what we wanted to do but we compromised when we weren’t. Be prepared to do things you’re not so keen on for the other person and vice versa! Remember that you’re not travelling solo so think about the other person too! It’s this art of compromising that will make your trip one to remember in the best possible way! 

Chapada Dia Montina 2014

         Chapada Diamantina 2014

There’s a million articles out there that will tell you to Choose Your Travel Partner Wisely – but in reality, you can only do this to an extent. Taking a trip with someone for the first time, whether you think you know them well or not, it’s almost impossible to foresee how it will pan out. On the one hand, someone who was previously a best friend could turn out to be the worst travel partner and result in a broken relationship, whilst someone you didn’t know extremely well before, could actually turn into a life long friend.

Choosing a Great Travel Partner is a Game of Chance and Luck – Welcome to Travellers Roulette!”

pari

xXx

Advertisements

Dreaming About Living In A New City? Ways To Make This A Reality!

“Around here we don’t look backwards for very long … We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths!” – Walt Disney


20140811-142300-51780899.jpg

After my last post If cities could be boyfriends I was asked how I made it possible to live in those different cities and if I could share advice on how to make a dream of living abroad a reality! Of course there are many opportunities available and I don’t know them all but I’m more than happy to share my route and things I discovered on the way:

1. U n i v e r s i t y O p t I o n s

With many options available from initially choosing where to study, Erasmus exchanges and for me, take a placement year, University can be your golden gateway to being able to live in a new city. A close friend of mine for example, chose her course purely on the basis that it came with an opportunity to spend one year in New York (I’ll be interviewing her soon about this experience so look out if you’re interested)! Personally, I was lucky enough to have spent my third year living in London on a paid placement with The Walt Disney Company. It was living in my own country’s capital that gave me my first sense of independence, ignited my love for living in new cities and fuelled me to do the same but outside of the motherland. Good source for placements: www.ratemyplacement.co.uk

With the Boss at the London HQ

With the Boss at the London HQ

2. I n t e r n s h I p s  A b r o a d 

Undergraduates – Interning abroad proves to be another great way to live in a new city whilst also gaining that all important international experience! Companies such as STA Travel offer Work In America programmes that give students the chance to gain a summer J1 visa permitting you to work anywhere in the USA. The great thing with this type of visa is that you do not need to secure a job beforehand, you can simply head to America and search on arrival. I was lucky to have secured a Summer marketing internship in New York while I was in England and it was one of the best three months of my life!

Graduates – I loved it so much in fact that upon graduating the year after I returned to work for the same company for a further 6 months. This time I went through a company called IST Plus who offer J1 visas for up to 12 months and can be used within one year of your graduation! With this however, you will need to secure and internship before you go! See Here for more information!

*Extra Tip*  Make use of being able to get a J1 Visa while you can and be sure to apply early as the process of having to attend an interview with the US Embassy and waiting for approval can take a little time. I left it to the last minute so I didn’t receive my passport back until the day before my flight – A close call that can definitely be avoided! 🙂

NY Office!

NY Office!

3. V o l u n t e e r  A b r o a d

My first volunteering trip was through the World Challenge Expedition  at the age of 17 whereby after fundraising £3000pp, our team of 10 spent one month working in the feeding villages and orphanages in Malawi! Despite it being a real eye-opener, in hindsight, I do feel that no one should have to pay to volunteer so bear that in mind when looking into potential programmes!

More recently, as I knew the World Cup was to be in Brazil, whilst in NY I sent an online application to be a volunteer and after completing online tests and interviews I was offered a position as a media volunteer! It was a fantastic month and not only did I get to experience being part of this historical event but I met great friends from around the world! Note: The application to volunteer at the Rio Olympics 2016 will be opening in 5 days! – keep a look out here if you’re interested!

World Cup Volunteer 2014

World Cup Media Volunteer 2014

4. W o r k E x c h a n g e

Another fab option is to work in hostels. If you are travelling and have a city that you think you’d like to spend a little more time getting to know, contact local hostels (through facebook/emails) offering a work exchange whereby you work say 20 hours a week in exchange for free accommodation and food. I did this is Rio De Janeiro for 2 months and it was both a brilliant experience and in inexpensive way to live in a new place!

Hostel Work Exchange in Rio

Work Exchange at Lapa Hostel Rio 2014

5. A u P a i r A b r o a d

 Being an au pair typically involves helping a family with their children, picking them up from school, teaching them English, helping with homework etc, all in exchange for free living and additional benefits. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ll soon be moving to Paris to learn French and have decided to do just this! I’ll be working around 25 hour per week, will have my own accommodation and will also receive 400 euros per month which will help towards my French course! Voila! This is a great option for those wanting to live in a country to learn its language! Useful Source: https://www.aupair-world.net

6. O t h e r O p t i o n s

I personally haven’t done any of the below but have friends who have so just thought they were mentioning also:

  • Teach Abroad: Many cities, especially in developing countries, are always looking for native English speakers to become teachers. By gaining a TEFL qualification, you’ll have a vast choice of cities to work in whilst also being paid!
  • Summer Camp USA: You can spend 8-10 weeks living and working on an American Summer camp.
  • WWOOF: This organisation enables people to live and volunteer on various organic properties in exchange for food and accommodation. Opportunities are available all over the world!

Apologies for the long winded post, I really could talk forever on the options available if you’re looking to move abroad as there are so many possibilities. One final piece of advice I must give is to not be afraid to take the plunge and move abroad alone! If I would have waited for someone to accompany me to each of these cities, there’s no doubt I’d still be waiting now! Of course it is daunting and a little scary but trust me on this, the feeling of exhilaration once you get there … now that is something I cannot describe! Go for it!

Those of you who have or are living in a different city – how did you do it?

pari

 xXx

Thought Catalog Publication: “All thinking is Relevant”

Thought Catalog – “All Thinking Is Relevant.”

For anyone that hasn’t yet heard of Thought Catalog, it’s a great site with a mission to share everyone’s views and stories around the world. I had my first post published here yesterday :)! Have a read and if you other travel bloggers would like your posts to reach a bigger audience, send in your submissions for an opportunity to be featured!

IMG_4331 

pari

xXx

If Cities Could Be Boyfriends …

“Each City Has It’s Own Personality”


 I’ve lived in London, New York, Rio de Janeiro and Paris (soon to be) – each with its own personality and each being the best relationships of my life in their own way. If cities could be boyfriends, let me introduce you to my ex’s:

“L o n d o n- The Safety Net”

First there was London- the security blanket. The one that made me feel most at home with its sense of familiarity. The one that made me think that I didn’t need to go anywhere else because he had everything I needed. The relationship was exciting in the beginning and opened up a world of opportunities and lasting ties. London was the one that eventually let me go and encouraged me to go out and explore because I was too young and adventurous to settle down. He’s not right for me at the moment but I still see him often enough and still think I’ll return to him again one day!

London - 2012

L o n d o n – 2012

 

“N e w Y o r k : The One That Got Away.”

Then came New York, the one that got away. A whirlwind of excitement from the very beginning. He pushed me outside of my boundaries and made me try things I’d never considered, showed me countless new experiences and made me fall hopelessly in love from the word go. NY was the fun relationship with an expiry date. I was aware of the countdown to when I’d have to leave him but it still broke my heart when I did. He’s the one I’m addicted to, the one I still think about the most and the one that my mind always wanders to making me think ‘what if…’

N e w Y o r k - Summer 2012

         N e w Y o r k –  2012

 

“R i o  D e  J a n e i r o- The Seductive Short Term Lover”

Next there was Rio, my passionate latin love. The one that made me feel my most confident by showering me with compliments every chance he got. Rio is the one who made me smile, made me laugh, made me dance and made me happy. No negative feelings were ever involved with this one, only good times and great memories. He isn’t the one I can see myself with permanently but he’s the one I’ll always go back to for care-free fun and romance.

R i o  D e  J a n e i r o - 2014

R i o D e J a n e i r o – 2014

 “Paris – The Romantic Gentleman”

Then there’s Paris, the new Romantic prospect. We’ve had a brief encounter before but that’s all it took for him to sweep me off my feet with his charm, beauty, immediate spark and sense of je ne sais quoi. Even though I already know he’s a little more shy, cautious and old-fashioned than what I’m used to he’s made me curious enough to go back. I have butterflies of excitement and that’s enough for right now. Paris will soon be my newest relationship and I’m looking forward to seeing what this intimate City of Love will bring…

If somewhere out there exists a hybrid of all these personalities then that’s where I’ll settle down. That’s the city I’ll marry!

pari

xXx


PARIS … Is Always A Good Idea!

“Paris is always a good Idea.” – Audrey Hepburn


20140819-142202-51722136.jpg 

I know the likelihood is slim, but if I ever decide to get a tattoo it would have to be my all time favourite quote: ‘Never settle for anything less than butterflies.’ I love it and right now, believe me, I feel like I’ve caught a million of them! Work, Accommodation, French course and Travel; check, check, check and check! 

I’m moving to Paris! Paris … is moving to Paris [no need to say a thing – I know I know]! I can and can’t believe it’s officially happening. I’ve said before that I always have somewhat of a two year travel plan so when I left University last year it was to head to Thailand, New York, Brazil and then on to Paris. Aside from me staying in Brazil four months longer than originally intended I’ve stuck to the plan and am happy to see that it’s worked out perfectly!

Why am I going? I made a promise to myself that by the time I turn 25 I’ll be able to speak French well, which now leaves me with 10 months to get a good hold of this langue romantique whilst enjoying everything that comes with living a Parisienne life bien sûr!

What will I be doing? Since my travel fund has dwindled to the point of being literally non-existent I’ve had to find a way that would allow me to live in Paris and learn French sans argent. There were several options on the cards: teaching English, perhaps working in a hostel like in Rio de Janeiro or becoming an au pair – of which I chose the latter. I’ve found a lovely family who I’m really looking forward to joining! So in exchange for taking care of their two children after school, teaching english, helping with homework, taking them to activities until the parents finish work, I’ll be provided with my own apartment in central Paris plus an allowance each month! It’s definitely a great option for those looking to learn a language anywhere in the world!

I literally have constant butterflies! The City Of Lights … I’ll be seeing you in 2 weeks for the start of my Parisienne Adventure! 

pari

 xXx

IBIZA: Not Just A Party Island

Admittedly I was a little dubious when my mum and younger brother chose Ibiza for a last minute family break and this feeling was first reinforced when seeing groups ready to party at the airport and again when arriving at the hotel to see people returning covered in UV Paint! I mean, what do you usually think of when someone mentions Ibiza? Partying, and drinking followed by drinking and partying right? I remember a travelling friend who has lived on this island for 10 years saying that it has so much more to offer than this and after just returning from 3 wonderful nights I have to agree on how right he is! 

20140817-135245-49965260.jpg

W h e r e  We  St a y e d :

Of course I can only speak for the hotel we stayed in but I would absolutely recommend Hotel Bahamas in Playa D’en Bossa for its family-friendly credentials. With its spacious rooms, private entrance to a beautiful beach, all inclusive great food and drinks and nightly entertainment, this hotel was perfect!

W h a t  We  D i d :

With only three days in on this island and an aim to simply relax, the days were spent by the beach and pool area whilst in the evenings we enjoyed high-street shopping in Ibiza Town and checked out the San Antonio Bay area which is full of cute market stalls and a fun fair!

Thinking of a family holiday to Ibiza?

O n e M u s t: San Antonio Sun set

I’m definitely a sucker for Sunsets and Ibiza is also notoriously known to have the best in the world – and for a reason too. Everyone heads down to the bars along San Antonio Bay or sits on the rocks by the sea to enjoy this beauty:

San Antonio SunSet - Ibiza August 2014

San Antonio SunSet – Ibiza August 2014

Ibiza might be famous for its party playground but world class clubs and A-list DJ’s aside, this island has a lot to offer for family vacays! It definitely shouldn’t be ruled out! 🙂

pari

xXx

 

B e 20 S o m e t h i n g: A Tip for the Graduates of 2014

“Travel. As much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.”


20140811-145615-53775673.jpg

“Don’t rush into a job straight away!”

If I could stand before all of the recent 2014 graduates and give one small but greatly significant piece of advice, it would be to S l o w D o w n. Don’t rush into a job straight away. Please – Do. Not. Do. It! Enjoy life and travel as far as you can for as long as you possibly can! I was lucky to have been born in England where travelling at some point during student-life is a normality but even still, I don’t believe people are doing it enough!

“Life experience is just as valuable as your education”

 There’s no doubt you will have learnt a great deal in your specialised Uni course but nothing at all will give you more worldly knowledge than actually travelling around the globe itself. Having life experience is just as valuable as your education and could help you figure out what career path you would like to take if you’re having doubts! It will give you that chance to get to know yourself: who you are, what your passions are, what you want from life. Only you can find the answer to these so give yourself the fullest chance to be able to do so!

“Work and travel can solve two problems”

I’ve heard people say that would love travel but feel too career driven to take the time-out whilst others say they just don’t have the finances to do so. A simple answer – work and travel. Take my route for example, I worked 6 months as a marketing intern on a J1 visa in NY and then ended up volunteering in the media department during the World Cup in Brazil. I choose where I want to go and then find some sort of work to aid personal development and help with finances. Not only is it possible to have the adventure of being somewhere new but it’s also possible to gain invaluable international experience en route. What parent, employer or graduates like yourselves can argue with that?

NY Office / Media World Cup 2014

NY Office / Media World Cup 2014

I’m not going to lie, sometimes I do stop and look at those who graduated last year with me and see them settled with great jobs, houses, partners and it does make me think that I’ve perhaps lost the head start. Then I think again – head start to where? We will all be working for the next 40 to 50 years of our lives so no one can fault you for enjoying a few responsibility-free years now! Several months ago I came across this quote on Instagram and couldn’t agree more:

“Your 20’s are your selfish years. Old enough to make the right decisions and young enough to make the wrong ones. Be selfish with your time – travel, explore, fall in and out of love, be ridiculous and silly and wild. Be 20 something.”

I’m not saying travelling is for everyone, just stating you’ll never know if you don’t take that first step. For every doubt as to why you cannot or should not travel there are a million more reasons for why you can and should. T o d a y, you are the oldest you’ve ever been and youngest you will ever be. Think about that! 🙂

pari

xXx

Dating A Traveller: A Girl On The Go

“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.”

Chapada Diamantina: Bahia, Brazil 2014

Chapada Diamantina: Bahia, Brazil 2014

Dating a traveller; a girl on the go! Like most things, there are both positives and negatives to dating someone like me; a person who always has their eyes on the next adventure. Being with someone who has no intention to settle in one place can be a whirlwind of easy fun, adventure and romance as there is no need to question where it is going. If it’s clear from the get-go that it’s an ‘enjoy the moment’ type of relationship, it is brilliant. You can relish in all the perks of being in a relationship, ie, the laughs, the cuddles, the dates, the sex, without actually being in one. And at the same time you can avoid what sparks the end of the spark itself, ie, the jealousy, routine and having to answer to another person.

But what happens when you’ve perhaps stayed in one place a little longer and gotten to know one person in particular more than you ever intended to? This is the complication. You start to imagine life with them. Settling. Getting a job. If visa requirements do not permit you to stay in that country for endless amounts of time you begin to wonder and dream up ways to solve this. It’s both a wonderful and dangerous thing to be involved with someone when on the move. But from my experience, it all comes down to whether you meet a person that makes you not only stop in your tracks, but makes you stop thinking about moving to that next place. If this happens, you’ve found something truly special. Yes, I’ve had a few crazy romances, which have made me somewhat think along the previous line. However, I’m still happy travelling, happy dreaming about the next destination and happy conjuring 2 year travels plans. In effect, that says it all!

pari

xXx

10 Lessons From 6 Months In Brazil

20140805-021947-8387102.jpg

After 6 months of travelling, working, studying, volunteering and loving life in this forever dancing country, it’s safe to say that ‘Brazil, você tem meu coração!’ In English terms, you have my heart. Here are 10 things, in no particular order, that I’ve taken away from the time spent in this beautiful place:

1. T h e A m a z i n g n e s s O f
A Ç A Í

I simply had to start with this [current craving]. There is a mutual agreement amongst almost all travellers that Açaí is one of the top things they will miss! This berry ice cream alternative not only has numerous nutritional values and proven health benefits (increased energy, healthy hair/skin/nails etc) but is also absolutely delicious (and even better when paired with banana and granola). Someone needs to bring this healthy treat to Europe ASAP!

Açaí

Açaí – Florianopolis

2. B r a z i l i a n P e o p l e

Everyone who has travelled to Brazil will say the same thing; one of the most amazing things about this country are the people itself. They love their country, they love their family and they love life! It’s truly an amazing culture and if you have an opportunity to be part of it, even for a short while, take it and enjoy it! *Extra Note* The men are definitely the most confident I have ever encountered!

3. B e a c h E t i q u e t t e

My very first trip to the beach was a quick educator into the differences in Brazilian and European beach etiquette! So if you want to not stick out as a ‘gringa’ – replace your beach towel with a Kanga, leave your books at home and ladies, it’s time to consider a Brazilian bikini!

Itacaré - Prainha

Itacaré – Prainha

4. B e a u t y  O f  P o r t u g u e s e

Have you heard Brazilian Portuguese? Removing French from the equation, it is THE Romance language of all Romance languages. Incredibly sexy and even more so, in my opinion, when spoken with the accent from Rio de Janeiro.

5. E x i s t e n c e O f ‘B r a z i l i a n T i m e’

As a general rule, when invited to a Brazilian party or celebration, do not turn up on time! There’s a running joke (with a completely serious undertone) that Brazil is a place where being late is the norm and being on time is almost non existent. (All of you Type A personalities out there, take note)!

6. C u r v e s  O v e r  B o n e s

I’m pretty sure everyone has heard comments about ‘Brazilian bums’ and for good reason too. Coming from a culture that pairs being skinny with beauty, it was refreshing to see curves being both encouraged and desired! From the people, to clothes store mannequins, to signs, curves are everywhere!

Recife- Parque Dona Lindu

Recife- Parque Dona Lindu

7. L o v e O f M u s i c & D a n c e

I’ve never been to a country where dancing is such an integral part of the culture! Every opportunity to dance is taken enthusiastically, and taken with style. From Samba to Forro to funky, only the smallest excuse is needed to dance; it was a refreshing change!

8. C l o t h e s A r e E x p e n s i v e !

Now this is a little smudge on my rose-tinted glasses. The malls are amazing but the clothes are depressingly expensive! However, if you love Havaiana flip-flops as much as the European population, you can grab a pair of Brazil’s most famous exports for only 25 Reis (6 English pounds)! Bargain, and they make for perfect gifts!

World Cup 2014 Havaiana's

World Cup 2014 Havaiana’s

9. F o o d & D r i n k s

I’m a proud foodie and was fittingly nicknamed ‘Gordinha’ (little fatty) by Brazilian friends since I couldn’t help but try everything! From the most typical dish of Feijoada, to other foods like empada, tapioca, pão de queijo, coxinha, pasteis, brigadeiro, the list is endless! As for alcoholic drinks, a must try is the classic ‘Caipirinha;’ a blend of cachaça (rum), lime and sugar.

10. F o o t b a l l P a s s i o n

Brazil ia often referred to as ‘o país do futebol’ (The country of football) to reflect their deep love for the sport! World Cup or not, it was amazing to witness the enjoyment football brings to all generations and the power it has to unite groups of strangers! People playing in the street, in the park, on the beach; football is everywhere!

Ipanema Beach- Rio de Janeiro

Ipanema Beach- Rio de Janeiro

For the 10 things here, there are 100 more! I simply adore Brazil. People have a preconception that it is a dangerous country and may discourage you from going there, but more often than not these are the people that have never set foot in the country itself. Of course you do have to be careful. Stay vigilant, as you should in any country, and you’ll leave with your own incredible memories!

Visited Brazil before? I’d love to hear what you miss the most!

pari

xXx