Saying Goodbye

father and daughter

As I write this in exactly 48 hours time I will be high in the sky on a plane travelling to Dubai; the first stop on my big trip. I am so glad that I booked two weeks off work to prepare. Everyday has been filled with sorting my (many) possessions and completing little errands for my trip. There is so much to organise! More than I could ever have imagined.

I have had my two big goodbye meals this week. With my school friends from Widnes and with my family. Both have been quite emotional affairs. Rather than being my chatty self at these gatherings I have been quite withdrawn and contemplative. I’m happy to be realising my dreams but the enormity of what I am about to do is starting to sink in. Watching my parents cry tonight was especially hard, as was hearing that they don’t want me to go.

I will be travelling to countries I have never been to, alone! I have never even been out of Europe before! I am well aware that many women have done a similar solo trip but mine is slightly different because i’m going to Sri Lanka as my first proper stop. A country without a set ‘backpackers trail’ like countries like Thailand. Saying that, that is one of the reasons why I was drawn to Sri Lanka; because it’s different and real.

Believe it or not i’ m still trying to perfect my packing list. I have a pile of clothes that I want to take but I know that I will have to reduce that pile considerably. I will be carrying all of my possessions on my back so it’s imperative that I don’t take too much. In a way it’s unfortunate that i’m a girly girl. It would be so much easier to pack lightly if I preferred shades of khaki and trousers rather than flowing dresses and floral prints!

I want to buy unique clothes when I’m away too so I want to keep some space for that or send clothes home as I get new ones.

Sooooo much to think about.

 

In the end I know that it doesn’t really matter what I pack. I can get most things out there; people want and need the same things wherever they are in the world! Even if something isn’t available people manage to get by! Most other backpackers will be in casual clothes anyway. I’m well aware that I’m already a fashion anomaly with my penchant for dresses!

Tomorrow I will be assembling my final packing list. I think what I am about to do will really sink in then. I’m sure that I will be filled with excitement as soon as I step on the plane. Until then I’m thinking about what I’m going to miss. Which is normal.

Everything will be the same here when I come back in a year. Just like I never went….

What I’m going to miss from home

friends, retro, red hair

Can you believe that it’s only 4 days until I leave! It has come round so fast! I have had a very hectic week with moving out, sorting all of my possessions so that they fit in a box room and planning the perfect packing list! As I said in my last post I have also been feeling very sentimental about England and what I’m going to leave behind.

So here it goes! This is a list of what I will miss from home when I’m on my travels!

My Family

I’m very close to my immediate family. I have always made the effort to see them as often as possible and rarely a week has gone by where I have not popped by for a cup of tea one evening! I will miss having someone to help advise me on what I should do and talking to people who know me inside out. We are going to keep in touch via skype but I will really miss them.

 

Little Leo

Leo is my parents cat and he is the cutest cat in the world! He is so affectionate and can make any surface look cosy. Believe it or not his favourite ‘bed’ is a milk tray box from Christmas! I hope to pet many cute cats in Asia though, which is part of the reason why I got my Rabies jab…

 

Horse riding

I started horse riding about two years ago and since then I have had a slight horse obsession; so much that I actually go to Adult pony club where we do things like braid horses hair and practice putting boots and bandages on the horses as well as learn about horse theory. I love the freedom of riding. There is no better feeling than cantering at speed on a beach or mountain. It broke my heart to have to give up riding in the last few months before the start of my big trip. One of my dreams is to ride a horse through the Australian rain-forest when I’m in Australia!

English food

I always feel a pain in my heart when people diss English food. Yes it may not be the most flavoursome or healthy of foods on the planet but surely nothing is more tasty than a roast dinner or fish and chips? I especially love good old Widnesian chips, peas and curry, mmmmm. I am looking forward to the food in Asia though. Especially in Sri Lanka where I hear that they eat curry three times a day! Now that sounds like my type of place!

 

Vintage Clothing and shopping!

You may have guessed that I like the vintage look. I especially love clothes from the 1950’s and 1960’s and I wear a lot of reproduction and original vintage pieces. Unfortunately real vintage is too fragile (and precious!) to take travelling and most of my reproduction vintage clothes are very heavy and crease very easily. I’m going to try my best to retain my style whilst I’m away though so I’m going to pack versatile pieces that look pretty and are easy to clean. I also want to see if I can find any vintage inspired dresses on my travels.

 

Work

What?! I hear you cry! Calm down, I don’t think that I will miss my actual job but I will definately miss being productive. I’m usually always on the go from work, seeing friends and my hobbies so my proper spare time is very mimimal. To counteract this I want to try volunteering whilst I travel to help local communities and seek casual employment if the opportunity arises. Saying that I may love having so much free time to spend how I wish. I want to work on this blog, practice photography and study the language, culture and history of the places that I’m visiting. I’m sure that that will keep me very busy!

The English/Welsh countryside

I think that there is nothing as beautiful as the UK on a sunny day (Which is about 10 days a year). I love the lush greenery of the British countryside. So much that in April of 2012 I joined the local young ramblers group in Liverpool. It was one of the best things that I have ever done. Because of the ramblers group I have been able to get to see the countryside in person throughout England and Wales and met many good friends with similar interests!

I think that the beaches in Asia and Oceania will be better than the beaches in the UK….

 

Red Hair

I had red hair for years but I had to dye it back to it’s original brunete colour before I start travelling. I have been a brunette for about two months now and I really miss red hair! I love how different and vibrant it looks. I love being an individual and red hair really made me stand out in a crowd.  Alas, after the infamous ‘Valencia incident’ I decided that it would be wise to travel as a brunette rather than a redhead. Being a redhead is very high maintenance and requires dying my hair weekly to keep its vibrant colour. Not to mention having to dye the roots every six weeks!

I will be a redhead again though, someday….

 

Liverpool

Fianlly I will miss my favourite city in the whole of the UK, Liverpool. Liverpool has everything that you could want from a city yet it has the small town feeling. It has an unrivalled nightlife scene and is full of history and culture at every turn. I love Scousers and their friendly outgoing nature. I feel extremely safe in Liverpool and I’m so lucky to have called it home for the past twenty two months. It does not deserve it’s reputation.

 

 

 

 

So fellow travellers, what do you miss from home?

 

American Apparel ‘Le Sac’ dress! The perfect travel dress

I have been searching high and low for versatile items to pack for my round the world trip. I have invested in quite a few items from the crag hoppers nosilife range, they are impregnated in mosquito repellent that lasts for the life of the clothes! They are also really light, dry really fast and have built in SPF 50 so I don’t need to worry about burning in the sun.
What really perplexed me was the search for the perfect travel dress. I tend to wear a lot of vintage dresses and vintage style dresses which tend to have a lot of material (so are not suitable for travelling ) I have found the perfect travel dress that is light, crease free and versatile so it can be worn in the evening, day or even as a skirt.
The American apparel Le Sac dress!!!
I have also bought some spare straps to change the look of the dress without taking up too much space in my bag.
Check out the many ways in which it can be worn. Now I just need to decide what else to pack. It’s so hard trying to pack light for a year of travel! I want to buy some clothes when I get out there though, as souvenirs!

Now I just need to figure out how to wear it...

What do you think? Will it be versatile and enable me to have many outfits from just one dress or will I get all tangled up or fall down when a cheeky Aussie pulls one of the many straps?

Remember remember the fifth of November…

fireworks, red, November

In England the 5th of November is known as ‘bonfire night’ or ‘Guy Fawkes night’. It’s is a celebration of the fact that Guy Fawkes, a member of the gunpowder plot was arrested whilst guarding explosives that were placed beneath the House of Lords. It celebrates the fact that king James the 1st survived this. In 1605 people lit bonfires around London and England carries on this tradition to this day. Although now we manly set off fireworks to remind us of this historical event

I love bonfire night, I have many happy memories of celebrating it at home in my parents garden. We would buy boxes of fireworks and rockets and have our own mini display whilst eating autumnal comfort food such as scouse and loaded potato skins!

This year I decided to go to a local fireworks display with my friend Brandi held at Sephton park in Liverpool. After a long walk from the train station we made it to the park and watched the 20 minute display and accompanying
Music. It’s one of my favourite British celebrations, I think it’s a very English
thing to celebrate!

Vintage fashion and Fireworks!
My friend said that I looked like a Russian Princess!
Brandi; an American celebrating a very English holiday!
Have you ever celebrated Guy Fawkes night in the UK? What did you think of the Fireworks?