Applying Your Instincts To Travel

I read two fascinating posts last week on yTravel Blog and Wandering Earl about instincts and travel. I don’t have anything quite as dramatic as those stories, but it did make me think about some experiences in my past.

 

A few years ago I was supposed to go away for a week on a work trip, just a domestic trip. I was annoyed about some small details:

 

It was designed as an intro course for support staff;  I was the subject matter expert with a degree and experience in the area, yet it was compulsory for me to attend.

 

Our meal allowance didn’t cover the cost of the meals at the hotel they were putting us up in (eg the amount for dinner didn’t even cover the cheapest dinner), and the hotel they put us up in wasn’t near any supermarkets where you could hack some kind of hotel-room-friendly meal together (or buy a sandwich).

 

It made me really negative and anxious about going, for the waste of time and money on so many levels. I was really stressed & crying a day or two before and guess what – one of my bouts of recurring tonsillitis kicked up. Yep. I knew I wasn’t going to go. I must have known I was getting sick (or the stress lowered my immune system and let its favourite bug in to the party – who knows which was the cause and which was the effect).

 

Applying Your Instincts To Travel

 

I was living just outside of London during the 2005 bombings, but thankfully when it happened I had just been on a big trip so I was at home sleeping it off. Still the traveller’s instinct kicked up – the first time I went back into the parts of London where it happened I felt so anxious & didn’t want to travel on buses. That, however, was clearly a case of paranoia. I didn’t feel unsafe. I felt worried about what had happened, and didn’t have a sense of anything going to happen.

 

You can talk about instinct on so many levels. For me, it’s about small things not adding up.

 

Have you ever had a case of listening to traveler’s instinct? How do you view instinct? 

Tips For Work Flights

Despite the fact I love to travel, flying for work is actually really low on my list of things I like to do. Mostly, it’s because you get to be in a new place, but aren’t free to explore.

 

In 2013 I had to fly quite a bit for work, and many of those trips were day trips. Long days!

 

Tips For Work Flights

 

As I was pretty much leaving on the first flight of the day and getting home around 12 hours later, there were more things to consider on the flight than just work. What if we got stuck in meetings and missed the last flight home? What if flights were overbooked and we got pushed back? While I flew on a flexible ticket and had no personal expenses with relation to the trip, the days were hugely variable and there really was no guarantee what time we would leave and get home.

 

One evening, after a very long day of meetings and negotiations, I was queuing up in a regional airport (I actually don’t remember where I was, but it was either Rockhampton or Gladstone), waiting for security to inspect my work laptop and personal bag. Security made a comment about the kitchen sink. I gave them a filthy look that probably wasn’t the wisest to give security! (See above: long day!)

 

While I generally believe in travelling light, my work trips back then actually make that pretty hard. Here’s roughly what I used to carry:

 

Work:

  • Work laptop (sadly, it was not that lightweight!)
  • Paperwork – sometimes quite a lot of paper (contracts, maps, documentation of issues etc)
  • Notepad or diary and pen (to take notes of meetings)

 

However, just because it’s a work trip, doesn’t mean I left any of my comforts out. Hence the kitchen sink comment by security!

 

Personal:

  • Portable medication kit (similar to this one)
  • Noise cancelling headphones
  • Non work reading materials (a book, usually)
  • Snacks (for inevitable flight/meeting delays)
  • Waterbottle (I live in Queensland, Australia – I pretty much always have one on me)

 

Tips For Work Flights

 

Depending on your workload, work policy and cultural attitudes, it can vary as to what the best thing to do on the trip there is. For me and the situation that I was working in, there was little preparation we could do, as we all knew the situation going in. Reading and rereading documents wouldn’t achieve anything as we knew everything inside out. So I used to tune out with my noise cancelling head phones (critical for turbo prop planes) and enjoy a book on the way. One time I decided to flick through the airline’s magazine and saw an article about what I was flying to negotiate in it, so that did not help my nerves with the gravity of the situation. Stick to your own books!

 

I was more likely to do work on the flight back. It was often hard to take good notes in meetings so if I didn’t get a chance to do this while waiting for the flight to depart, I reviewed what happened and made notes while they were fresh in my head. This usually went for only half a flight, then I would listen to music or (if the plane had it installed) watch a mindless TV show to unwind from the day.

 

What do you take on work trips?

 

Where is the farthest from home you have been?

Joining in with My Brown Paper Packages today for #wednesdaywanderlust on the topic of “Where is the farthest from home you have been?”

 

Well, firstly it’s hard to say where home is! I am a dual citizen of Australia and the UK, so both of my possible homes are as far away from each other as they can be!!

 

I’ve been a bit stereotypical in some ways in that I haven’t seen much in between – though if this counts as an excuse, I did most of my international traveling a decade (plus) ago when I lived at home so it was up to my parents to decide, not me!

 

I have a lot of Wunderlust for Thailand. I love Thai food and I would love to set up there for a few weeks (months?) and spend time just soaking the place up, taking cooking classes from locals and traveling around.

Far Away From Home

When I went around Europe, I was really looking forward to Italy, and was kind of surprised to not like it a great deal. I think it was because the tour was only going to cities. While it was great to wander lost around Venice for a day (I love getting lost in new places – and old places), and the dinner one night in Italy was mind-blowing, the cities didn’t do it much for  me. I do have a feeling I would like the quieter, countryside areas of Italy.

 

A few years ago, we had to go out to a teeny tiny town in Queensland for some family stuff… Meandarra is a town that only has a few streets. And the jail has a couch in it! I found that so classically Australian. It might be closer but it felt far from home. We stayed in the pub, and the doors in the rooms don’t even have keys…

 

Where is the farthest from home you have been?

 

 

Enjoying My 30th Birthday In My Backyard

As much as I do believe that you can travel and enjoy your own backyard, sometimes it doesn’t compare to the thrill of the unknown. Yet, other times, it’s amazing and you can appreciate the lifestyle you have – a lifestlye others have to travel for and can’t enjoy year-round.

 

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. I’m not a party person, so I booked the day off work and spent it at home with my husband.

 

We kicked off the day with a breakfast BBQ down at Suttons Beach.

 

Suttons Beach Redclife QLD

The view from our little picnic table hut.

 

BBQ breakfast at Suttons Beach in Redcliffe QLD

Bacon, hash brown, sausage, egg, onion, mushroom, avocado… delicious!

 

Suttons Beach Redclife QLD picnic huts

Check out those amazing Moreton Bay Pines.

 

We went home for a while and lazed about – it was a bit of a hot day but thankfully not so hot we needed the air conditioning on. I like actual fresh air (but am very appreciative of air conditioning during the worst of summer), which is another reason why I don’t think I could ever move away from the beach now that I live by it.

 

Some time after midday, we got hungry, so we drove up the road to a great little fish n chips shop call The Boat Shed. They’re not the cheapest place but the food quality is the best I’ve had. You can dine in (indoor & outdoor seating) or there are tons of picnic benches and shady spots under trees very close (walking distance close). We pulled our camp chairs out of the boot of the car and ate under a tree.

 

The Boat Shed Seafood Box

Check out the size of those calamari rings!

 

Moreton Bay Pines Scarborough

Our view while eating lunch.

 

It was exactly what I wanted in a birthday – lazy, gorgeous and tasty.

 

What did you do for your last birthday?

 

Fitting Travel Into Your Life

This is not a “usual” travel blog. I traveled a lot as a kid but have been stationary for a while due to study, work and health issues. However, that doesn’t mean that the travel bug has gone away.

 

Fitting Travel Into Your Life

 

So, how do you fit travel into a “standard” life?

 

Keep “Travel Gear” On Hand

I keep camping chairs in my car boot at all times. It makes it easy to pull over just about anywhere and enjoy the view (or read a book outside for a while). If my boot was a little bigger, I would keep my free-standing hammock in there all the time too.

 

Eat Outside Frequently

Nearly every single week we have breakfast or dinner at a BBQ by the beach. You can see my BBQ kit HERE.

 

Accessorise Your Travel Bug

The picture below is a phone case of mine; I may not get to travel as much as i would like, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep myself inspired to travel.

 

Make Peace With Expenses

If you work a full time job, it’s likely that you’ll be limited to traveling on the weekends or at other peak times. Peak travel will always be more expensive, but it’s far better than not traveling at all!

 

Save For Travel

In line with the point above, accept that travel may cost your more and save accordingly. I have some tips HERE.

 

 

3 Easy Ways To Save For Travel

As fantastic as travel is, it can be expensive on top of the rest of life’s expenses. That’s certainly one reason I haven’t been able to travel as much as I would have liked to in recent years. While traveling in your own “backyard” can help control the travel bug, you often still feel that “pack up and go” desire. Here are the tips that I use to save up for travel. Sadly, there is rarely a get rich quick scheme that isn’t a scam and we can’t rely on winning lotto, so these are some very practical tips.

 

 

3 Easy Ways To Save For Travel

 

 

Save Regularly

If you  have a regular income from a job, talk to your payroll staff and get some money put straight into a separate bank account each pay. I keep my travel funds in a 100% different bank from my main funds. I don’t even have a credit or debit card for that bank account, so I can’t touch the money.

 

 

Sell Things

Go through your house and see what you have that you don’t need. You’d often be surprised at what is lingering in old suitcases that can be sold. Do you have some branded clothes? Put them on eBay! Take vintage clothes to a consignment store. Check your kitchen for old & unused items – they might not be worth much on their own but if you can put together a ‘package’ of items that someone who is leaving home might need you can sell them together.

 

Earn More

Can you pick up a part time job for a few extra hours per week? This can help you pay down debt (if relevant) and to give you a travel fund.

 

What are you tips for saving for travel?

It’s All JAG’s Fault

The other weekend, the USS George Washington was in Brisbane for shore leave before heading up the  Queensland coast for some war games.

 

There were no tours of the boat (ship? I’m not up on the terminology) but considering I didn’t know that was even an option sometimes I didn’t feel too left out. Though I would be interested in a tour the next time one comes that does allow tours. Having said that, I did see a few photos on Instagram of people who were on the George Washington for a dinner – so I guess you had to be “important” (politically) to get on board. Yawn.

 

I have a thing for these Navy boats. It’s all JAG’s fault. Despite reading once that JAG’s demographics were ex military personnel and that it was nearly exclusively viewed by people over forty (sorry, this was a long time ago so no references) I really loved the show as a teenager.

 

It's All JAG's Fault

 

Which lead me to watch documentaries occasionally on the US military navy plane ships (see, I’m really not up on the terminology) and a small giant dream of mine is to get to go on one of those fighter jets that gets launched from the ship-boat.

 

It’s probably also the fault of rollercoasters, because I love theme parks and rollercoasters too. So this is like the ultimate real life rollercoaster experience that is impossible to ever get to do.

 

Do you have any probably impossible travel dreams?

Bad Travel Advice

Last year I was flicking through Pinterest and ended up on a mainstream website that had all these travel tips and advice for hotels. Some of it was the usual stuff like knowing where your emergency exits are and checking that your door actually does lock – all pretty fair, logical and safe.

 

But the bit of advice that really got me was that you must check under your bed when you get into the room. Apparently there’s a high risk of there being a dead body under there and the cleaners do such a slap-dash job that no one has noticed there’s a dead body.

 

Bad Travel Advice

 

Yep. I actually thought it was a joke, but I think they meant is as serious advice. Now, I’m not saying this has never, ever happened in the history of the world, but really?! If you’re staying a place that’s so bad there’s a risk of dead bodies under the bed, then I’d be more worried about your decision to say in a place where that is a risk!

 

Nautrally, last  year I decided to take this advice on my next possible trip, because I really hate it when someone gets to say “I told you so” to me. So when my blogging buddy Gayel and I checked into the QT for ProBlogger 2014, I left my suitcase just inside the door of the room and dropped to the floor.

 

See, no dead bodies:

 

Check Under The Bed

 

 

Phew. I guess there was no “I told you so” that time!

 

What’s the funniest bit of bad travel advice you’ve ever heard?