Thursday, April 23, 2015

Travel:3 Things I've Learned About Travelling This Year

So far, 2015 is shaping up to be a year of journeys. In February I took my first trip to Paris with T, and in March we moved across London. Next week, I'm off (a bit unexpectedly) to Madeira.

Taking our Paris trip was a bit of an eye opener for me, as previously, I'd only ever travelled for R&R holidays, the idea of spending precious down time doing too much was slightly horrifying, but I had an amazing time in Paris, and although this next trip is set to be a bit of R&R, I'm also excited to see a bit more than just the resort swimming pool. With this in mind.... things I've learned about travel in 2015.

1. It's ok to wear Comfortable Shoes
I will never been that girl shimmying about in 5 inch heels on cobbled streets- in Paris, Milan, London or anyone else. One of my favourite ways to get a feel for a place is to walk about in it, and that usually means shoving my sneakers into my packing and then not taking them off for the entire (ok, maybe not quite entire) trip.

Moment of appreciation this grim sleety Tuesday please for my new sparkly shoes #JDStyle @jdsportsofficial
Best. Shoes. Ever. 
Converse Dainty Sneakers in Silver Glitter

2. A little research goes a long way
Some people like itineraries. I am not one of those people. But I do like to have a few ideas up my sleeve of things I definitely want to see or do, usually sorted by weather requirements, a few different kind of eating options close to anything we're choosing to see or do and a basic idea of the costs for entry, transport, and average restaurant prices.

It's a proper cheese restaurant when your bill comes on a Camembert box...
Not just dinner, a whole evening's entertainment

Based on a small amount of research, we still have the freedom to pick and choose from what we've found, depending on how we feel. For me, a holiday where I constantly feel pressured to go somewhere or cram something in isn't very relaxing and sounds a bit too much like hard work.

3. My way or the highway
Most importantly of all, this year I have learned that it's ok to do things my way. It's ok to not go to the biggest, most well known museums in a city in favour of something I know interests me more. It's ok to plan my day around a restaurant we really want to try. It's ok to decide that if the sun is blazing for the entirety of my Madeira trip, then the furthest I'm likely to venture beyond the swimming pool is out for dinner.

This handsome creature decided to take over T's sunlounger after attempting to come into the flat this morning. #newfriends
It's a hard life....
Spain, June 2014

One of the reasons I've avoided city breaks or holidays in new places is the idea that you have to spend every day rushing from place to place, seeing and doing as much as possible. That's not my style and it's not what I enjoy. Paris was a revelation in that we opted to plan to do only one thing per half day, and take our time enjoying a few things. Perhaps it has to do with the whole Fear Of Missing Out concept or maybe because I read a lot of blogs, I'm guilty of only seeing what's shown and not reading between the lines (Note: not a criticism of other bloggers, meant merely that we should all remember that there are things we all choose not to share) or perhaps it's just because this kind of trip is new to me, but taking a step back from how everyone else does it, and doing things my own way meant we had a great time and has left me looking forward to more new adventures.
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