View of Lake Bled from Ojstrica , Slovenia

How to Get the Most Out of Lake Bled

It’s been a while but I finally got around to compiling my second post about my trip to Slovenia in June (so many photos, so little time). After a couple of days in Ljubljana I took the bus to Bled, which I soon found I had mixed feelings about. The lake is breathtakingly beautiful and that is an indisputable fact, but the town is pretty touristy and the number of loud 19-year old backpackers around did start to get to me whenever I was in the town.

The trick is to zone out all the touristy rubbish and find the quiet spots it hasn’t quite reached yet. The real magic of Lake Bled is in the roads less travelled, the understated restaurants and the footpaths you’re not sure anyone else has found yet, and I want to share my tips for discovering them. Continue reading

View of Ljubljana, Slovenia

A Love Letter to Ljubljana

Those who know me know that I’m not a romantic person. I’m not good at going out on a limb with my feelings and tend to inch slowly into relationships, cautiously dipping a toe into the water before I dive in. I view the idea of love at first sight with an overwhelming sense of cynicism; while some couples claim they knew they were meant to be from the moment they met, that instant, instinctive attraction is something I’ve never experienced and don’t expect I ever will. It’s just not in my nature.

But then last week I arrived in Ljubljana and was reminded that this isn’t completely true. As soon as I stepped out of my taxi and made my way through the cobbled streets to my hostel, a familiar feeling of calm contentment settled in my stomach. It was the elusive but unmistakable sensation of belonging, of arriving in a place and knowing in your bones that it’s a match made in heaven. I might not fall fast for people, but places can seduce me in no time at all. Continue reading

Essential Sites I Used to Book my Trip to Slovenia

So if you follow me on Twitter or even *gasp* know me ‘IRL’, you’ll know that I’m finding it hard to shut up about my holiday to Slovenia that I’m jetting off on this Saturday. I’m so excited because it’s somewhere I’ve been dreaming of going for a couple of years now, but a big part of my excitement process if the actual planning of the trip.

I’ve always known that package holidays are not for me, and one of the main reasons is that I genuinely enjoy putting the trip together myself. Booking flights, finding hotels, researching where to go and how to get there – these things are all part of the holiday experience for me and really help build my anticipation! As I’ve never been to Slovenia and am travelling alone with a very limited timescale this 1-week trip has required quite a lot of forward planning, and these are the sites I’ve used to help me arrange my precious 7 days. Continue reading

My 2016 Travel Wishlist

After a fairly dull and UK-based 2014, this year has been a good year for me and travel. I’ve been on 6 trips outside England, 2 for work and 4 for pleasure, covered 5 countries, 3 of them new ones for me, attended the TBEX travel blogger conference, found a new spiritual home in Budapest and ticked off my bucket list location of Plitvice National Park. Not too shabby. But of course I always have new countries and new adventures in mind! Of course time, available annual leave and money are always a challenge, but here’s what’s on my travel wishlist for 2016.

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights have always been a bucket list dream of mine, and this year could be the last one in a while where I have a decent shot at seeing them. I found out from my friend Emma that due to the cycles of the sun, the Lights go through periods of intensity, and are therefore easier to see at some times than others. The Lights hit this cycle’s peak in 2013, and after 2016 they will be be significantly weaker for at least 8 years before they approach their next peak. Reykjavik is a possible base city for catching a glimpse, but my dream experience would be to stay in one of the glass igloos at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland. Might need to save up a bit for that though…

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort igloos, FInland

Image credit: Greenland Travel on Flickr.

Slovenia

Slovenia is still pretty up-and-coming in terms of mass tourism, and I’m keen to get there before the crowds really swoop in. The capital, Ljubljana, looks adorable, and I’d really like to hit the lakes in May/June time. One thing I’ve never done before and really want to try is solo travel, and Slovenia feels like a good place to try it out. It’s in Europe, fairly cheap, small enough to cover several major locations in a short space of time, and is rated as a very safe country for solo travel. Flights from the UK aren’t currently that regular, so I’m considering adding a couple of nights in Prague or Zagreb onto my trip to open up some more flight dates.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

New York

Did you know you can get flights from London to New York for under £300 now? This year Norwegian Airlines started doing Gatwick-JFK flights from just £149 each way – what a time to be alive! I’ve been to New York a couple of times in my life but only ever with family and way under 21, so I feel like it’s time to go back and rediscover the city as an adult of legal drinking age. I’m really not a fan of long haul flights for short stays, so I’d definitely commit to at least a week and spend some time in Boston as well.

Manhattan skyline, New York

An Irish Wedding

Travel is all about experiences, and I have a feeling this will be one of the most memorable experiences of my year! Two of my good friends who I met in Noosa while travelling up the east coast of Australia are getting married after almost 10 years together, and I’m lucky enough to have been invited to the wedding. The date is yet to be set but it’s looking like summer 2016, and I can’t wait to see what goes down at an Irish wedding. Knowing the couple, it will be one of the best piss-ups I’ve ever been to…

Ireland with friends

Me with the happy couple (far left and right).

What’s on your travel wishlift for 2016? Have you already got some trips planned? Let me know in the comments!