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My 2016 UK Travel Goals

Back in October I wrote a post called My 2016 Travel Goals. In that post I talked about wanted to visit Greece, Moldova, Belgium, Turkey, Spain, France… basically, a whole lot of countries around Europe. At the very end of that post, I said I also wanted to see a lot more of the UK, though I didn’t really go into specifics.

I want to do more. I want to see more. I want to eat more (seriously, English food is delicious, I don’t know why that rumour still stands). While I’ve slowly been curating a list of fun things to do in London, I’ve also decided that I want to travel outside of the city at least once a month. I might not always be visiting new-to-me places, but I feel an urge to really explore this wonderful backyard of mine.

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Tips for Teenagers Who Want to Travel the World

Over the years, I’ve received a lot of emails from teenagers and/or students who have questions about travelling, mainly how to get started or how to decide where to go.

While I can’t possibly know where every teenager who writes to me is coming from, I can offer just a little bit of advice for the positive steps I took when I was younger in order to fulfil my travel dreams. As I was growing up I was unwittingly preparing for a lifetime of travel, and years later I am so thankful that I was so determined from such a young age. Here are a few things you might be able to do if you’re a teenager who wants to travel the world after finishing school (or really, for anyone who wants to travel).

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The Best Way to Celebrate Loi Krathong

You know that saying, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”? That’s how I feel most of the time. It seems like almost every day I read about a place or an event I’d like to visit. There are a few things that have remained steadfast on my travel wish list for years, though: a safari in Tanzania, scuba diving in the Maldives, a road trip though the southern states of America, a cultural trip through Bhutan, and, on the list for the past few years, seeing Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

And this past November, I was finally in Thailand at the right time to see the festival. Here, then, are my tips on the best way to celebrate Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai… complete with lots of photos!

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What to Wear in Bhutan

A country that long topped my “dream list” of travel destinations, Bhutan is also a country that I didn’t know very much about. Despite a few websites and a guidebook in my arsenal, Bhutan seemed draped with mystery even the day before my arrival, when I’d fly over the Himalayas and land in its tiny Paro airport. Because I was visiting in December, I worried that the country would be freezing cold, and I didn’t want that to hinder my enjoyment or appreciation of the adventure. When turning to the internet for advice, however, I didn’t find much by way of packing tips – “Bring a jacket” one website told me. Another said to “dress appropriately for the weather.” Gee, thanks. How helpful.

So, without further ado, here’s what to wear in Bhutan, from personal experience.

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Going Back to Copenhagen

I used to wear a Danish krone around my neck. It’s the perfect coin to do so, really – it has a hole in it already. I also kept a few spare kroner in my wallet in Canada, just because I liked knowing the extra weight came from those foreign coins, jangling around thousands of miles from their home.

This is a story about travelling, about falling in love, about growing up, and, ultimately, about going back to Copenhagen.

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That Time of Year – with lots of giveaways!

I love this time of year, I really do. It’s not just the food and the decorations and the smell of the pine tree, it’s the time spent with family. This year, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to see all of my loved ones on Christmas day; my dad and sister Zalie, who both live in Winnipeg, my mum, who lives in Toronto, and my brother, who lives in Vancouver. We’ve already shared tons of laughs (and drinks) together, and the festivities will continue until I fly back to London on the 29th.

But OK, I’ll admit, I love the presents, too. Which brings me to the point of this blog post – I’d like to send ten gifts out to say thank you for another wonderful year of your comments, emails, messages, likes, and general support.

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The Danger of Someone Else’s Dream

I recently got an email from a reader; let’s call her Olivia. In her email, Olivia told me about her plans after college and of how she was excited to get a job in the field that she studied. She then asked me this question:

“I love the idea of travelling; I love reading travel blogs and studying maps. The thing is, I don’t really know if I want to travel beyond a couple of weeks away at a time, and only with my boyfriend or my friends. I like my life here and I’m happy with what I’ve created. I feel like a fraud by saying that it’s not really my dream to travel. What do you think? Am I being crazy?”

When I was a little girl I really only dreamt of one thing: to travel. It’s what I wrote in all my journals, it’s what I told people I wanted to do, it’s what I thought about when I couldn’t sleep. I would make lists of all the places I’d go and all the things I’d see. But is this dream for everyone?

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Is it Difficult to Get a Visa for Bhutan?

I am writing this from my hotel in Thimphu, Bhutan, where one of the myths of travel in Bhutan has already been shattered for me… that there’s very little wifi in the country. Another myth about travelling in Bhutan? That it’s difficult to get a visa to visit, or that the government limits the number of visas they grant per year to tourists. So is it difficult to get a visa for Bhutan?

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How Do You Know You’re Ready for Long-term Travel?

I’ve received a few emails from readers over the years asking the same question: “How do you know you’re ready for long-term travel?” I totally get it. You know you want to travel. You’ve read the packing lists and advice blogs. But how do you know that you are definitely ready to take the plunge to travel for two months, six months, or… indefinitely? Long-term travel may not be for everyone, as it is vastly different than a week holiday to the beach. It requires a bit of planning, a lot of optimism, and a healthy dose of an open mind. And while it can be incredibly rewarding, exciting, humbling, and FUN, it can also be stressful, challenging, and eye-opening (none of which are necessarily bad experiences to go through in life).

So, how do you know if you’re ready for long-term travel?

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