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The Fastest City Zip Wire in the World at Zip World London

The Fastest City Zip Wire in the World at Zip World London

When I was told there was a birthday surprise in store for me, but that before going, I'd have to sign a waiver, my brain went into meltdown. Waivers mean 'dangerous', right? What could I be doing?! I'd been on the world's biggest swing in New Zealand, so began to think that my boyfriend had planned something similar and convinced myself I'd be heading up the ArcelorMittal Orbit slide in Stratford.

Six Awesome Photography Tricks I Learnt on a Photo Walk With Jessops

Two people taking photographs

I've owned my precious little Olympus Pen E-L7 for almost two years now. I did the ultimate blogger cliche of purchasing a 45mm lens last year, and as an early birthday treat for 2017, I've nabbed myself a 25mm lens too. I read up on photography tips online, quiz professionals (two of my best mates happen to be married to photographers), and just test and learn as I go, and I feel like my pictures really are improving.

A Distressing Visit to Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

Fresco at Rila Monastery

I've started thinking bigger when it comes to city breaks. After a successful trip to Vianden Castle from Luxembourg City, and regretting not making it to Transylvania when in Bucharest, I did my research before going to Sofia and the internet was united screaming the words RILA MONASTERY my way.

Why I Love Using Guide Books to Plan My Trips

Collection of travel guide books

Back in February 2014, I was excitedly preparing for my first trip to Australia. I was working there for a few weeks, followed by a trip to Hong Kong on my way home, and in anticipation, I bought a couple of guide books. Flipping through them at my desk, a colleague leant over, took a look at them and said, 'Guide books? That's very....analogue of you.'

How to Spend a Day in Bath, Somerset

Umbrella Street installation, Bath

Let me just start by saying that the way to spend a day in Bath is by booking the correct train tickets, so that you don't have to depart London at 6am like I did. On the plus side, it meant we arrived before the crowds did, but also meant that by about 4pm we were so tired, we had to go and have a nap in our hotel in a nearby town.

Hiking the Incredible Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Inside a crevasse on Franz Josef glacier

There's something beautiful about seeing mountains in winter, when the snow is fresh and thick, the skies are blue but the air has a bite. The cold seasons in New Zealand, and especially on the South Island, transform the rolling green landscapes we all know from those films into icing sugar-dusted peaks instead. I was told that 60% of hikes going up onto Franz Josef Glacier are cancelled due to poor weather, so as we drove to the area, my eyes were firmly on the skies.

Six Tips For Eating Well When Backpacking

Travel blogger with rucksack

Travelling for a long period of time is exhausting. Lugging a rucksack from place to place, on every mode of transport you can imagine and then eventually hitching up at a hostel where there's zero food to chow down on. It's so easy to end up snacking on convenience food and getting takeaways, but really, if you're on a multi-month, multi-country trip, that is NOT the way to be saving money. Eating well on the road is easy, cheap and healthy with just a bit of preparation. Here's how I managed it on my trip from Malaysia to New Zealand:

The Beginner's Guide of Where to Shop in London's West End

How to Spend a Day in London's West End

I know the streets of the West End pretty well after almost seven years of living in London; so it is super rare that I actually spend a day in the area, rather than powering through it with my earphones in whilst I snarl at tourists. But as I've said so many times before, you don't have to go off the beaten track to have a great travel experience, so I set out to explore my own city, embracing the West End's 'London is Open' message, and had a full day of hitting actual shops rather than just adding to my never-ending ASOS order. 

If it's your first time to this area, here's where you should head to:

An Indulgent Brunch at Angelina, Paris

Mont Blanc patisserie

Finding the place to eat the famous foods of Paris is like finding a needle in a haystack. There's baguettes and macaroons and red wine on every corner, but that obviously doesn't mean it's good, which is why I insisted on returning to Angelina during my most recent visit to France.

Three Things to Do in Runaway Bay, Jamaica (That Go Beyond Your All-Inclusive Hotel)

Sunset in Runaway Bay, Jamaica

The contrast between the rural area of Jamaica that my family are from compared to the shiny tourist resorts is staggering. I've said before that the tropical island paradise that is so frequently associated with the country was a stark contrast to what I first experienced when I went to St Elizabeth, but spending a couple of days in Runaway Bay, I saw the shiny, picture perfect hotels that draw people in from around the world.

Flying Business Class on British Airways

Flying Business Class on British Airways

I've never turned left on a plane before. I've been lucky enough to not always be squidged up in Economy, by going one step up to Premium Economy, which I've loved every time for just a bit more space and the fact that you're allowed an actual glass to drink out of. But I've always been jealous of those in the front of the plane; the ones who get to actually lie down when the cabin lights are turned down.

A Weekend in Poole, Dorset

Travel blogger eating ice cream in Poole, Dorset

My childhood holidays were 99% UK based, which means I've seen a lot more this fair isle than most. But, as with some places I visited before I truly valued my travels (Berlin, I'm looking at you), I want to start going back and appreciating them as an adult. So, in the face of adversity (re. RAIN), I went adventuring in the Dorset town of Poole.

A Day Trip to Vianden Castle, Luxembourg (or, OMG That Looks Like Hogwarts)

Vianden Castle, Luxembourg

It became clear pretty quickly, that as much as Luxembourg City was fascinating and beautiful, it was also very, very small. After a full Saturday there, we began to realise that, as in many places in Europe, it would be a ghost town on a Sunday. Our Luxembourg Cards allowed us transport out of the centre, so early the next day we got a rail replacement bus followed by a short train journey out to the tiny town of Vianden.

One Day in Paris: Where to Eat Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Baked chorizo and eggs

Gosh, we're lucky here in the UK. The fact that a casual day trip over to France is a) feasible and b) affordable, is a luxury that I certainly don't take advantage of enough. With Eurostar pinging you straight from St Pancras into the centre of Paris, you can get your culture on easy-peasy AND stuff your face with deliciousness at the same time. I walk everywhere in Paris, so I need the fuel; here's where I'd happily eat three meals a day, every day:

An Incredible (Budget Friendly) Safari in Kruger Park, South Africa

Elephant seen from safari vehicle

My long haul travels are only feasible because I do them on a budget, but with every one I save a little extra to do something special: a few nights in a nice hotel or eating at an incredible restaurant. For my trip to South Africa, I kept costs low with careful planning specifically so I could go on my first safari.

How to Spend 24 Hours in Sofia, Bulgaria

How to Spend 24 Hours in Sofia, Bulgaria

After my long weekend in Bucharest earlier this year, I've found a new obsession with Eastern Europe. It's a relatively untapped treasure trove for my own travels, but with a rich history (much of it surprisingly brutal and very, very recent) and super affordable flights, it's an area of the world I'm very keen to explore more of. And that's how I ended up in Sofia.

Discovering My Roots in Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica

Bull Savannah, Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica

Before I flew to Jamaica, I told my friends and family that after that one trip, I would never go back. Having to visit the country for the worst reasons meant that I only associated it with misery, and knowing that any future visit there would remind me of that meant I'd already ruled out returning. But it turned out to be a journey of unanticipated self-discovery, leaving me with a strange sense of belonging and a renewed love of the place I come from.

My Three Favourite Brunch Spots in Melbourne, Australia

Hardware Societe brunch, Melbourne

Brunch has become a staple part of my social life at home in London, but the Australians really nailed it first. I'm not a smashed avo on toast cliché, but early mornings aren't my thing either so this new tradition means a lie-in followed by coffee and carbs, and the people of Melbourne sure do know how to start the day off right.

Five Things to Know For Your First Eurostar Trip

Travel blogger on Eurostar

When I go to an airport, I arrive with hours to spare, laptop out and ready for the security checks, nothing over 100ml in my cosmetics bag. When I get a train, I rock up with maybe 15 minutes to spare so I can grab my ticket and a coffee and leg it to the platform, forever surprised that I'm running late again. So I had no idea how to prepare for my first trip on the Eurostar*.

My journey to Belgium from St Pancras was one of the most comfortable, simple and enjoyable travel experiences I've ever had. If you're prepping for your first Eurostar, here's everything you need to know:

Where to Find Stunning Coastal Views on South Africa's Garden Route

Knysna Heads, South Africa

Although our journey along South Africa's Garden Route was 1000km long, we covered it all in quite a short period of time. Before setting off from Cape Town, we had some stop-offs planned but took a chance on others depending on how we felt at the time and what our guide books suggested. The route is known for its spectacular views of the South African coastline, so that's exactly what we drove to seek out in between the beautiful little towns we'd found along the way.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review