Saturday, 27 February 2016



Just a post on all the personal little things I picked up whilst travelling that I thought I'd share for any budding adventurers out there. Enjoy X

Let's start this off with one of my biggest regrets of the entire travelling trip. CAMERA. Silly really as I knew I'd be surrounded by epic tumblr worthy scenic shots. I've honestly been kicking myself when I look back at pictures. I even had the opportunity to purchase a decent camera at the airport and the gentleman helping me (bless him) kept asking me vital techno questions about what type of camera I wanted. I was a bit of a technophobe back then (improved since then, I think!) and ran away overwhelmed not knowing the right techno answers. Of course I still have the vivid memories captured in my mind, and yeah I still had a camera phone to use but as my first tip to you I would highly recommend investing in a proper high quality digital camera. If you're travelling with a friend or partner you could always pitch in the payment together. (as they aren't cheap) Pictures and visuals that you create whilst travelling will live with you forever. 

 Tick! If you can, start ticking all the boring (meh) bits off your list straight away. Such as flights, travel insurance, permits/visa, accommodation (if you want that sorted beforehand), car rentals, money exchange etc. It just means leading up to your trip you can spend (very needed time) looking up suitable bikini's online. (I mean that's just as important right??! **Covers face!)

Another slight learning curve for me was WHY DID I PACK SO MANY BLEEDING SHOES! SERIOUSLY WHY! I mean I don't know where I thought I was going but I can honestly say I lived in one pair of converse trainers for the majority of the trip, and I only realistically needed one pair of my favourite heels. I overloaded big time basically and not just on the shoes as my clothing quota was also unnecessarily loaded too. Duh! But you live and learn! So just ask yourself (or the clothing) 'Will I need you?'. Also think about that extra weight on your poor back in your back pack. (I had a few of them moments) 

Choose wisely the company you decide to go on your travelling trip with. Just being honest as you really need to. You are going to be spending a hell of a lot of time together, probably bunking up and sharing beds and just generally sharing the entire experience you have as a collective. You really don't want to break important relationships. Before our trip I remember one of my friends telling me that they travelled to India with a big group of girls, unfortunately that party that she travelled with kept bickering/arguing over silly things. A few of the party actually left, and went home back to the UK because they couldn't hack the back packing life and the general adjustment to the travelling living. Personally that would be my worst nightmare and would obviously make a huge impact on your trip.The backpacking life has no time for divas and it is a huge embarking challenge. But if you try and surround yourself with people that are up for it, down to earth, like minded and just nice people you'll have the time of your life. (I hope my ramble makes sense) Also if you are travelling as a big group you have to be prepared to alter your plans to (be considerate). Shaz, Cihan and myself all carried the same attitude towards the travelling lark. We got up early every morning and was out venturing buzzing for what the day had in store for us. We became a little team. Okay I think you get what I mean, I'm going to stop before I make us sound like the bleeding brady bunch!

To be honest I'm not really a stick to the rules type of lass but I'll just share a wee story we encountered during our trip. So Shaz and myself said that we would never ever travel/drive late at night, as it would be much safer to drive in daylight. And we stuck to this 'rule' for half way across our trip. Now in Las Vegas we had Cihan (Geezy) join us for the rest of the duration and she drove us from LV to San Diego. Unaware of our no driving after dark rule we found ourselves on the road 'after dark'. We continued to drive 'after dark' for the rest of the trip and without even realising we've been driving late at night breaking one of our rules. West coast in the night time becomes even more alive. I don't know what it is and I can't even translate exactly into words how our long distance night time driving felt, but all I can refer it to is one of my favourite films Drive. The open road.  But if Geezy never joined us we would of stuck to our boring safe rule and missed that amazing experience which left since an impression on me. Face Your Fears. So my long winded moral of my story is stuff the rules and LIVE YOUR LIFE!

So I have to say my least favourite part of our travelling trip was the main tourist attractions. I really didn't like Hollywood walk of fame, but I did love the boat trip to The Statue of Liberty and central park. Okay so only some tourist attraction if I'm honest bore the crap out of me. I don't find them appealing in anyway. They give me no inspiration and normally really overcrowded. If you can don't forget to venture out and mix in with the locals, try something different. The tourist places are also quite over priced. (Just my personal opinion)

'Have No Fear' or 'Do Something That Scares You', I used to think when coming across quotes of a similar nature to quite frankly do one. Lay off with your life messages. Why on earth would I want to scare myself? But travelling somehow enables you to do that. Your At the Edge of it All. Half the time feeling alive and half the time wondering if you'll die but that inner strength is risen out of you. Sounds so strange to write but it's the truth or my truth from the experience. Allow yourself to open up. Whether that's your mind, spirit or soul. But something in you I personally think changes. You do have to be open to allow that to happen. Find that trust within your being that tells you, you can do anything in this world. As you bloody can. Open to the experience.............

We totally forgot to factor in the tipping system which operates in the United States. Tipping is not mandatory in most of the US, it is customary in many circumstances for service, especially at almost all sit-down restaurants which offer table service and many food servers depend on tips as an essential part of their wage. Generally, the average tip is 15% TO 20% of the total meal cost. So be prepared for any surprising costs as it can slowly eat in to your budget. (We kind of blew ours!)

It's so frigging true but so easy to do. We all worry but try not to worry to much and really take in the surroundings your lucky enough to experience around you. Travelling really does put everything in perspective. Smile and laugh you way through to enjoy the ride. 

I've barked on about my American once in a lifetime road trip for months now because I'm quite frankly still not over it. I don't think I ever will be. I do occasionally pinch myself and think did I really see or do that, like was I really at The Grand Canyon. So why not start saving for the next adventure. Every penny counts! India, South America or Thailand are all on my list.   

Americans love to talk. We got approached by so many lovely friendly helping people in the US, they weren't out to get anything from us apart from our journey. (we did stand out like a sore thumb) Intrigued and caring of our mad cross country adventure. I can honestly say that the people we met along the way really made the journey that extra bit special for us. No one was mean (Apart from the staring truckers lol). If anything they were thanking us for venturing over to their country. The natives really changed my ignorant perception of Americans. Blinded and fooled. 
These guys made us laugh so much! Chicago.
(Oh photo judgement people just posing for pictures.)
We mixed with all different people with a an individual walk of life. Old, young, races, genders. I loved hearing stories and embracing the surroundings around me. Everybody and anybody would strike a conversation with us. We'd be sat in a cheap noodle bar and a guy across a table would come and introduce himself. He was like in he's fifties, white and business like, but not in a seedy way just an everyday polite way. Down south the lady servicing us would ask 'What are you pretty ladddies doing down south?', and that was the norm. It took us a while to get used to it. People actually talk. Oh my god I have to write this but the men are just so cool. They again weren't after anything, they just liked talking, it was like talking to old mates and they instantly knew how to pose for a picture! People  are actually nice. We are nice. 

As always many thanks for reading. I thought I'd do something a bit different from the styling this week. I've really enjoyed writing this little recap. Again feel free to let me know your thoughts and whether this has hopefully helped you in anyway. 

My Look
My Style
Flora Maria


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