by Dannielle Cresp on October 16, 2012
Lots of people tell me I’m brave for travelling on my own. Some even tell me I’m crazy. I’ve had a few suggest that it’s not appropriate for a ‘lady’ to do, but honestly, for the most part it’s no more dangerous (depending on location obviously) than walking to work on your own. And you know what? It’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Yes, I tend to travel to Western Countries, but a lot of people I meet feel unsure about even travelling alone to Western Countries. Travel is about getting out of your comfort zone and finding something new. It’s about learning about yourself as much as it is about the culture that you’re in. Travel safety is about knowing what you’re in for, and thinking ahead about how you would deal with that situation. It’s not very ‘by the seat of your pants’ but it can be a way to allow you to enjoy your trip so much more because you know the risks and where to ask for help in a worst case scenario.
I am a worst case scenario planner. It gives me the confidence to go and travel to the places I want to and to feel a little bit more secure in doing so. Give someone at home your basic itinerary. Text or email them when it changes. If you feel unsafe, trust your gut and find yourself a safe place. Big brand coffee shops and family restaurants are great for this. They are full of people. Do your research, have GPS on your phone if you feel like you might get lost. Adventure doesn’t lose its sheen just because you had plans B, C, D & E. See them as a choose your own adventure, rather than a chore. Do the planning that feels right for you.
I love to travel on my own. It gives me the freedom to see the things that I want to at the pace I choose. I’m a slow traveller, preferring to stay in one place for at least a few days before moving on. While many of the people I met in Europe saw 6 countries in 3 weeks, I saw one. For me it’s not a numbers game or about sitting on a bus with the same people everyday. It’s about seeing, smelling, hearing and taking in my surroundings of another culture and realising that even where we have many similarities, there are also so many tiny every day differences that make up a culture. Even the English speaking ones.
I have met, and have forged friendships that have lasted nearly a decade (so far), with people in the places I’ve been. Some were locals, some were also on their own solo trips and some were travelling in pairs. All looking to experience something that they didn’t have at home. The people you meet and the experiences that you have are life changing, even if it’s only in small ways. There are so many good people in this world and they are all over the place and many will pop up when you least expect them to.
Sometimes the experiences you have change your life slowly. They change your outlook when you’re back home. They make you more patient, or more impatient with the status quo. They change the way you react to certain tastes, products and smells, like how Lush stores remind me of Glasgow and how ham reminds me of the ham flavoured potato chips I accidentally bought from a vending machine in Madrid.
Not all your days will be good ones, and bad stuff sometimes happens. Just like it does when you stay home. Travel can be breathtaking, both in the beauty of the place you’re visiting and in sensory overload. There’s just nothing quite like that feeling of being alive when you’re seeing things that you’ve planned and you’re making your dreams come true.
You don’t have to give up on the things you want to do because there’s no one to go with you. Be brave, do your research and if you’re really looking for people to meet up with on your trip just ask. There will be a friend of a friend who will be willing to meet you for coffee or show you their favourite museums. Take a guided day tour, and say hi to the other people standing awkwardly on their own or that smiley lady who wants to know everyone’s story – there’s always one! Allow yourself to walk the streets and markets and just immerse yourself in the culture. And remember to look up! It was by chance looking up that I found a Hotel with my surname in Nice, France just because I happened to stop out the front and look up at the building.
Travel is a great way to open your mind to the things you never thought you wanted to know and lets you find some awesome people. It isn’t perfect – nothing ever is, but it sets my senses on fire and reminds me what is real and what is important. It gives you the chance to let the unimportant slip away if you let it.
Do it the way you want to. Be brave and make some awesome memories.
by Dannielle Cresp on February 14, 2012
So, I’m not really big on the ‘love day’ thing, but happiness is something that I can certainly adhere to. It’s something I’ve been struggling with a bit lately as some sad things have happened this year, but I don’t want to dwell. Instead I wanted to share this printable that I made for you (and me) so we can focus on just one good thing each day.
No matter what your relationship status is, I think that this is something that we can all enjoy. There are 4 printouts to a page and you can print it on any kind of paper you want, I have them on a cardstock. You can download the printable here. Print it as many times as you like. Please share it with your friends but don’t repost the printable on your site, send them here to get their own copy.
I’ll be sticking mine up in front of my computer each morning before work. Where will you keep yours?
Have a lovely Tuesday.
by Dannielle Cresp on January 31, 2012
You might have realised by now that I’m not a minimalist by any means. I’m very sentimental and it can take a lot for me to pass on things to their next owner (or worse to landfill). Yet every so often, I feel the need to have a big clear out and try to feel less overwhelmed by things. January has been very overwhelming for me, with the loss of a dear family member and a less than stellar month for my business, so cleaning and clearing has been very cathartic.
I realised in my cleaning out that I have some treasures that have never been used or only used once that I thought some of you might be interested in, so I decided to have a bit of an online garage sale. There are some sewing books that I purchased and never got around to trying, some fab books, the cute shoes you see above and even the game Operation that has never been played.
If you’re interested you can have a look at the garage sale here. I’ll keep the site up until Feb 15, 2012.
I’m hoping some of these will go to new homes and will see a fresh lease on life.
Tomorrow February begins, I love a new month. It feels like a fresh start 12 times a year.