How to have a Theme Park Holiday when you Hate Theme Parks

Considering how I’m always saying I’m not a theme park fan, I have spent a surprisingly large amount of time in Orlando going to, um, theme parks.  In Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson says of James May “He’s the only man whose been to the North Pole who didn’t want to be there”.  This is basically me at Disneyworld.Magic KingdomI feel the pain of everyone who is dragged along to theme parks against their will – be it parents who accompany theme-park-mad-kids, long-suffering partners of theme-park-nuts, or the grandma sitting with the bags and coats. How do you have a good day in these circumstances? Continue reading


How to Pack for a Round the World trip

What to take with you on a Round the World (RTW) Trip is often the least exciting bit – you dream of far-off places and just want to go! But the practicalities can make or break a good trip, so it is worth spending some time considering what to take.

Bag / Suitcase

First, figure out what bag to take. Think of the terrain you’ll be going over, and the places you are going to. Maybe if you’re going to be walking through remote towns in undeveloped countries, a backpack might be more discreet, as a wheely suitcase would just create noise and might attract unwanted attention. However, if you’re travelling exclusively to large cities like New York, then a wheely suitcase might be easier to manoeuvre. I took a 65 Litre backpack, and felt like a bit of a pillock in New York, but was glad of it in Peru. Continue reading

How to afford a Round the World trip

Money will always be a sensitive subject. Many people have asked me how we have afforded our travels, including colleagues who were much more senior, earning around twice what I did. So I thought I would de-mystify this a bit. This blog should perhaps be called “how we did it”, rather than “how to do it”. The simple answer is we earnt money, we saved money, and we didn’t spend money. And crucially, we decided to spend our money on travel. Continue reading

How to book a Round the World ticket

A “Round the World” Trip (or “RTW”) is the ultimate gap year or career break. There is a reasonable amount of information around on how to plan one of these trips, for example Rough Guide’s book called “First Time Around the World”, but I thought I would pass on how I went about it…

I have started by shopping around the travel agents, and I found STA Travel, which is a UK travel agent. It is often perceived as for “students-only” but is in fact available for everyone, although the students benefit from the cheapest fares. It is worth looking at, even if just to get an idea of market prices. Continue reading

A Misty Monastery at Monserrat… (and how to get there!)

There is a Montserrat and a Monserrat. The one with a “t” is the volcanic Island in the Pacific. This one is on Eastern Spain, about an hour from Barcelona. We decided to see this as a day-trip, since there is a Monastery and some striking rock formations.

Unfortunately we timed it wrong with the weather – although it was nice in Barcelona, the further inland we got the worse the weather was. By the time we got up the mountain it was terrible, veering between torrential rain and rolling cloud. Visibility was a few metres, so any potential views were obliterated.

The above photo is taken on one of the walks. There should have been panoramic views to the left, but instead it was a rather miserable hike for an hour, soaked to the skin. My boyfriend was delighted by this outdoor adventure. I was less so. Continue reading